football Edit

Four out in front for five-star RB Zamir White

Zamir White is the No. 1 RB in the country.
Zamir White is the No. 1 RB in the country.

A few days ago, the night of February 20, five-star running back Zamir White made national headlines when he announced his top four schools on Twitter.

He named them numerically, one through four, starting with Georgia, then Alabama, Clemson and North Carolina.

The 6-foot, 205 pound junior out of Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland County quickly sent message through some that his top four are not in any type of order at this time.

But, could really be in order?

"Right now, Zamir is not talking and he does not want to do any media at this time, but if I had to say a school, I would say Georgia is on top for him," said Scotland County head coach Richard Bailey.

"Since he put out his top four, a lot of people have been trying to get in contact with him and he does not want to deal with that right now. The way his last update came out led to some questions and he just doesn't want to deal with all that.

"I can say what I think, but as far as him talking with the media, he doesn't plan to right now."


What Bailey made clear is nobody really knows what White is thinking right now if they aren't him. He is a quiet, reserved young man who wants to make all around him happy, but he knows college coaches are going to be upset unless they are the one.

That is something White is struggling with right now.

"It is really hard to know exactly what Zamir has going through his mind because in the end, he wants to please everyone. Coaches have been calling, media has been calling and it has been tough for him.

"Knowing him and talking to him, I would think that he pretty much has an idea of where he wants to go in his mind. He has visited his top schools multiple times, his mother has visited Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina at least twice and Zamir may know in his mind what he is going to do."

Right now, the plan is for White, the No. 6 prospect in the country on Rivals has June 27, his mother's birthday circled as his date to commit to a school.

The mother, Shanee White is a key piece to this puzzle.

"Zamir's mother is very important here," said Bailey. "She is a big part of the visits he takes and she is going to be involved. I have taken him on some visits, she has taken him on some visits and she is going to be part of his decision."

Shanee wants the best for her son. She wants his decision to be a win-win for both involved of them.

"His mother is looking for a school where Zamir can get the best of college football and a place that is close where she can be part of it too," added Bailey. "The closeness plays it to it all I think because she wants Zamir to be where she can see him."

The distance (under five hours from White's home) is part of the reason Georgia may be in front for one of the premiere prospects in the country, but that is far from it. Georgia's Dell McGee, the running backs coach under Kirby Smart has worked hard to pull Georgia back to be a real competitor in this race.

"If you would have asked me about Georgia before football season back in August, I would have told you they were probably fourth or fifth on Zamir's list.

"Now, I think they are on the top."

Why? It is coach McGee.

"Every time coach McGee was allowed to be here in the fall, he was here," said Bailey. "He has done an excellent job recruiting Zamir and really showing Zamir and his mother about the family atmosphere at Georgia.

"Coach McGee has a real presence here and he has done an excellent job. A lot of other schools and coaches are doing great too, but specifically talking about Georgia, they were not where they are now months ago, but due to McGee, they are a lot higher now."

Georgia is not the only school with silver and red uniforms that White has envisioned himself playing for.

The Ohio State Buckeyes were not on his list Monday night and that surprised, maybe even shocked Bailey. He has taken White to Columbus (Ohio), the Buckeyes have been a favorite of White's for some time and now they are not in the top four.

That could still change though.

"One thing people have to know is, Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and North Carolina are his top four schools, not his final four," said Bailey. "Ohio State has to be right there and I would definitely say they are fifth right now.

"If you would have asked me three or four weeks ago where I thought he was going, my answer would have been Ohio State.

"He has been high on them for a while and maybe distance comes into play some, but it is a school he is still considering. He likes Tony Alford (running backs) a lot, they talk a lot and I think Ohio State was surprised like I was when they were not on that list."

Now, all will continue to watch to see where White visits next. He was scheduled to visit Chapel Hill (N.C.) last weekend before surprising most and showing up in Athens (Ga.) for his second visit to Georgia in February.

June 27 is the date. For now, that is when White plans to commit. Bailey is not sure his star may not need a little more time.

"I get it and I kind of like it that he is committing before the season starts and it is great how he is honoring his mother, but he could use a couple more months to figure things out and commit August 15 or so," said Bailey. "I would be fine with that.

"It is about him feeling comfortable with the position coach he will play for and him playing for a program that runs the ball, but I just want him to make sure he is ready.

"I feel like when Zamir commits, that he will be a man of his word and be done with the process. I just want him to do it when he is 100-percent ready to and not rush it."

With those worries about timing, Bailey does not know too much a school can do betwen now and when that time comes to really help itself with White. All have been recruiting him for years now, so the work has been put in.

"He has been everywhere. His mother has been to most of the schools on his list more than once. She may want another full day at Clemson or to see Ohio State, but she has been every where else pretty much.

"I am really not sure what coaches can say to Zamir or to show him that they haven't already. Each school has sold their program to him, each has recruited him hard and each has had coaches developing relationships with him, so that is why I think he may have a feeling of where he is going.

"He may even be done with it recruiting in his mind and know for sure. He does not say too much to anyone about any of this, so that is why is so hard to truly know exactly what his feelings are right now."

Ohio State is still trying to be a player here, LSU is calling non-stop, and of course Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and North Carolina are fighting this one out as well.

In the end, only one school will get good news here. White will graduate in December and enroll at the school of his choice in January 2018. Him telling a school yes as early as June 27 will not be the tough part, it will be telling the other schools no.

"Zamir just wants to please them all," said Bailey. "He is having a hard time right now because he wants to make all of the coaches happy, he wants to make his mother happy and he knows he can't bring a smile to all faces.

"Making people mad is not something he handles well. That is something he is going to have to do pretty soon though, so he has to get ready for that."