A last-minute swoop from seventeen-time national champions the University of Alabama wasn’t enough to ward off high school football sensation from the University.
Brevin White, a native of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., put pen to paper in early February to confirm his summer intentions of joining The Tigers. The four-star pro-style quarterback joins just off from an exceptional pre-collegiate career, having just recently led Paraclete High School to a California Interscholastic Federation title in the 2017 season. Standing at six-foot, two inches and weighing 185 pounds, White accumulated a 280.8 passing yards-per-game average in his senior year, an exceptional showing accented by incredible long throws and complemented by impressive runs.
Come this fall, White will be taking his talents to the Ivy League. In a phone interview with The Daily Princetonian, he gave an inside look on what had brought him to this next step.
White’s childhood in southern California was spent living in close proximity with relatives, inspiring his family-oriented approach to life. The youngest of three children, he seeks to emulate his father’s “hard-working” attitude and praises his mother as a “five-star mom.”
His idol, however, has always been his brother Brady White. Also a quarterback, Brady White just last month completed a graduate transfer to the University of Memphis having spent three years at Arizona State University.
“Every time he'd change, I'd change,“ explained White. “I modeled my game after how he played.”
When Brady suffered a Lisfranc fracture at ASU, White was quite shaken up. After the injury, Seeing his brother on field was nerve-wracking for White, speaking to the strength of the connection between the two.
"I couldn't function. I was so fidgety,“ Brevin White explained. “Just being there, it scares me! It's my brother and I worry about him. We’re a Christian family and he’s definitely the strongest, most religious person. We had some deep talks about it and ultimately it worked out for him, he’s fully back and healthy.”
Brevin White comes from a family of athletes. His mother played soccer and softball in high school, while his father was a basketball player who played at the collegiate level as well. Meanwhile, his sister, currently a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame, works in football recruiting.
White developed an affinity for golf early on, calling it “one of the greatest sports ever.” He said he even took a year off from football in junior high to hit the green. He also loves country music and attending concerts.
“I just give it a quick shuffle and I’m rolling,“ White explained. “I like pulling a little air guitar out occasionally.”
Perhaps transferring between three high schools was not what White had planned on; however, he believes the experience had ultimately helped him mature as an individual both on and off the field:
“At each place, you gotta earn the respect of all your teammates and build strong relationships with all the guys, and that's what I think I did which made the transitions super easy for me,“ he explained. “Ultimately, I came out with some pretty good relationships and loved my experiences at each school. I kept adding pieces to the puzzle as I kept moving along.”
White identified his playing style as unconventional, in a way hybridizing the roles typical of pro style and dual threat quarterbacks.
"I’m a pocket passer, I’m definitely comfortable making throws and that's where I'm strongest at, but also I feel like people underestimate me and some quarterbacks’ abilities and speed to get out, get first downs and make plays with their feet, which I bring to the table,“ he said.
However, White attributes much of his success to the equally paramount mental factor, a primary basis for his admiration of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“He's [Aaron Rodgers] got a little swag about him. I don’t like being cocky but I respect guys who bring the ‘it’ factor to the game. I think that’s what he does.”
“I think the personality of the quarterback should push the team over the edge per se. It doesn't need to be the most vocal guy, but personally I am a vocal guy, I like being in the driver's seat to cushion the guys and push everybody to be their best,” he continued.
After a long and grueling recruiting process, offers from top-of-the-line football schools such as UA, Tennessee State University, and ASU just couldn’t compare to the lure of the Ivy League and the University. Anyone and everyone who’s been following the saga has asked, “Why Princeton?” White, however, sees the question a different way: “Why not Princeton?”
“Princeton University is the best fit for me as a person overall,“ he explained. “It checks all the boxes for what I wanna do on and off the field, and it's gonna help me fulfill me aspirations better than any other school.”
“At Princeton, you're surrounded by the best of the best,“ he added. “The competitor in all of us wants to be, or should want to be, surrounded by the best of the best, to be pushed to our ultimate potential.”
The thought of playing football on the east coast is also an exciting opportunity for White, who said that competing in snowy conditions “almost seems like a bucket list thing.”
White aspires to play in the NFL and hopes to apply himself at the University in every way possible in order to make the dream come true. Yet he remains a realist and knows the chances are slim, and as an alternative he would like to work in the financial sector upon securing a degree in economics. Working in New York is a “mysterious” and “exciting” prospect for White, who would love to “go out and experience the world.”
In White, the Tigers are getting a driven, inspired, and goal-oriented quarterback who will undoubtedly help lead the charge for Ivy League success over the next four years. After heartbreak against Yale crushed bonfire hopes in 2017, perhaps White can be a spark to light it ablaze again.