Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He appears weekly on The Red Zone w/ JB on 92.1 FM Fayetteville, The Morning Rush w/ Tye & Tommy on 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home, 99.5 FM in Fayetteville and The Zone w/ Justin & Wess on 103.7 FM in Little Rock.
The Recruiting Guy:
OC Briles helps White find his peace
Little Rock Christian quarterback Walker White breaks a tackle by White Hall defensive back Braylon Johnson for a first-quarter touchdown Friday. (Pine Bluff Commercial/I.C. Murrell)
FAYETTEVILLE — Little Rock Christian junior quarterback Walker White had two scholarship offers last year in June while attending a University of Arkansas prospect camp.
Fast forward to the Razorbacks' camp on Friday and he now has 20.
White, 6-4, 215 pounds, had offers from Tulsa and the University of Central Arkansas last summer. He now has offers from Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Wisconsin, TCU, Missouri, Virginia and other schools.
“It’s really cool to see the work pay off is the biggest thing,” White said.
He didn’t start off Friday’s camp like he wanted but finished strong after a little urging by Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles.
“I started off a little slow, but it kicked in and I got myself right,” White said. “Coach Briles came up to me and was like, ‘What are you doing?’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry. I’ll get it right,’ and he said, ‘OK.’ Then I started doing the deeds.
“I got into a good rhythm. I started being on time and having a mindset of this ball is going to be completed. Just being more loose and having that confidence and that peace is the biggest thing for me. When I’m confident and I have peace on the field is when I’m at my best.”
White’s parents, David and Amy, accompanied him for the visit and camp session.
“Today was really good, spending time with Coach Briles and meeting with Coach [Sam] Pittman and talking ball, which we’ve never done all that,” White said.
White received his offer from Arkansas after Briles and tight ends coach Dowell Loggains attended a Warriors’ practice on May 5. After showing well at the camp Friday, White went inside the Fred W. Smith Football Center for a film session with Briles.
“We watched some film of what he’s seen me do and then he would show me a play of Arkansas or Houston,” White said. “Just one of the teams he’s coached doing that same play. So he would compare me to his other quarterbacks.”
White also said Briles pointed out how his offense adapts to the strengths of the quarterback.
“He talked about [how] Feleipe Franks and KJ Jefferson are two totally different types of players but they were both successful because we [Arkansas] adapted to their skill sets,” White said.
White also met with Pittman for 30 minutes.
“It was really good,” White said. “He was just saying how much he liked me and how much they want me to come and be the quarterback for Arkansas.”
He said he’s enjoyed working with Briles the past two summers while attending camp.
“It was really fun working with him just because he pushes me and he expects a lot out of me,” White said.
White is a true dual-threat quarterback with the ability to change the game with his arm and legs. He rushed 92 times for 487 yards and 5 touchdowns, and completed 129 of 238 passes for 2,010 yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore.
He showed off his athleticism at an Ole Miss camp in early June by recording 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash along with a 35.4-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 10 foot, 4 inches while being named camp MVP. His hands have been measure at 10.25 inches.
Two recruiting services rate White as a 4-star prospect. CBS Sports Network national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming visited with White and other top in-state prospects in 2021 while in Little Rock. He rates him a 4-star plus recruit.
“I was very impressed with him and since I saw him he’s gained more weight,” Lemming said. “Great size, arm strength, poise and production. He will be one of the best quarterbacks in the 2024 class.”
White has strong ties to Arkansas. His great-grandfather Harold “Greasy” Rees played football for the Razorbacks; his grandfather John Rees played receiver from 1968-70; and his uncle John Aaron Rees played from 2005-2008.
His father, David, played golf at Arkansas in the early 1990s while his brother, John David, played receiver at Arkansas until transferring to UCA in January. His brother, Zac, was an infielder for the Razorbacks’ baseball team last year.
White has also visited LSU, TCU and Florida this summer. He and his parents left for Alabama after the Arkansas camp to throw for Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban on Saturday.
White will soon reduce the list of schools he’s considering.
“By the end of July, I’ll have it narrowed down and then from there it’s going to be like I’m going to be spending time with my team getting though my junior season and hopefully committing by December 14 or February 1,” White said.
He explained why he wants to make an early decision.
“I want to commit before my senior year so I can start recruiting for that class,” White said. “Try to get some other athletes to come with me.”
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