SEMINOLE — The rush of recruiting has flooded over Seminole running back Papi White the last two months.
A lot of Division I prospects started being recruited when they're sophomores, if not younger. But White stayed under the radar, and the world of recruiting didn't really open up to him until the second half of his senior season.
In November, he still didn't have a Division I scholarship offer, until Western Kentucky came along. Then Tulsa, Ohio and Southern Mississippi joined the mix.
And by that point, it was January, and there were only a few weeks left for official visits.
White verbally committed to Ohio on Friday, less than two weeks after he had committed to Southern Miss. Some might see that as waffling, or maybe uncertainty.
But it's more a situation of a kid getting a recruiting crash course less than a month before National Signing Day.
White took his official visit to Southern Miss on Jan. 17, and was enthralled by what former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken's program had to offer. He committed, then went to Ohio the next weekend.
And that visit went even better, so White suddenly found himself with a decision to make.
Both coaching staffs made visits to Seminole in the middle of last week, and White ultimately settled on Ohio.
“I think he got a little overwhelmed there at the beginning,” Seminole coach Mike Snyder said. “But he felt he fit in a little better at Ohio.
“Because of his personality, he hates to turn people down and tell them ‘no.' I think a young man grows up quite a bit in the recruiting process.”
And White does seem to fit well at Ohio, which has had a good bit of success with Oklahoma kids the last few years — Tyler Tettleton, Beau Blankenship and Donte Foster, all three of whom completed their eligibility this past season.
White's skills translate well to an offense like coordinator Tim Albin — an Okie himself — runs. He can run out of the backfield, be used as a slot receiver, and return kicks or punts.
White rushed for 3,133 yards and 41 touchdowns as a senior. He was a surprising omission from the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State team's East roster, which included only two running backs.
White is blazing a new trail out of Seminole, though. Snyder, who has more than four decades on the job for the Chieftains as an assistant and head coach, has seen some really good quarterbacks go through the program, and there have been some linemen and players from other positions go to Division I programs.
But White is the only D-I running back Snyder can remember.
“When you see how athletic he is, how he plays the game and his vision of the field — that's what everyone talks about,” Snyder said. “His ability to play multiple positions and help in the return game helped him catch the eye of a lot of people.
“He feels really happy with the opportunity he has at Ohio.”