Ashton White was serious when he talked about wanting to earn an offer from Notre Dame and referring to it as a potential “game-changer.” The 2015 Washington, D.C. cornerback was also serious when he told Irish Sports Daily that Notre Dame was his leader after landing that offer from the Irish on Friday.
On Tuesday, White showed just how serious he was by publicly committing to Notre Dame.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder from Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Md., is the 16th verbal commitment in Notre Dame’s 2015 recruiting class. He joins Pennsylvania running back Josh Adams, who announced his pledge on Monday, as the most recent pledges. White gives the Irish five defensive backs in the current cycle, joining safeties Prentice McKinney and Nicco Fertitta and cornerbacks Nick Coleman and Shaun Crawford.
White chose Notre Dame out of a top five that included Maryland, Virginia, Boston College and Ohio State. He had offers from the other four before camping in South Bend last week to earn his offer from Notre Dame.
His parents told him they would save up so he could take one trip out of the area this summer and he knew where he wanted to go.
“I chose Notre Dame and I already knew that was the camp I wanted to do, that was the offer I wanted to earn,” he said on ISD Power Hour Monday. “My parents worked some overtime, saved their money and we got the plane tickets, so I’m grateful.
“I said, ‘If I ever had the opportunity, just one chance to be able to prove to the coaching staff that I deserve the scholarship, I will definitely take the chance.’ It was just something I put my mind to.”
Once that offer came in, White declared the Irish as his leader, saying it was a “dream opportunity.”
“It was very exciting,” he said of landing the offer. “It was something I was looking forward to for a long time. I was blessed with many other offers, but growing up as a kid, I always watched Notre Dame. I was always a fan of Notre Dame.”
White feels comfortable with his future position coach, defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks, and his recruiter, Irish assistant Scott Booker.
“(Coach Cooks and I) had a great conversation when I was down there,” said White. “Aside from the football part, of course he coached me during the camp aspect, but on the visit itself, we had about an hour-long conversation. It was a great conversation, we really connected.
“We definitely are building a strong relationship and I definitely have a strong relationship with Coach Booker as well.”
The one-time Virginia Tech commit likes the entire package at Notre Dame and how the program encourages players to do well in the classroom and in the community, which is similar to his current high school.
“The school is set up to build you into an overall person, an overall better person,” he said.
ISD expert Sean Mele believes this is a good pickup for the Irish.
“White brings a level of physical play and elite speed (sub-4.5 40) that you like to see at cornerback,” says Mele, who has tagged White as a four-star prospect. “He isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty while being involved in as many tackles as he can. One of the reasons he has the confidence to play in this manner is his size…You can see it on film too – he definitely fills out his uniform quite impressively for a junior in high school.
“The Bishop McNamara High School star’s athleticism shouldn’t be overlooked in lieu of his physicality. He makes many of the techniques a cornerback uses look easy – almost to the point where you question his effort. However, after re-watching his tape it’s clear that he always seems to be in the right place on the field making a play on the ball. Whether it be backpedaling, transitioning to a full sprint to support the run, or turning and covering his deep quarter, things just seem to come easy to him.”
Mele would like to see White keep his feet a bit more when making tackles.
“On one hand, he likes the physical aspect of the game, which is great, but he needs to learn to stay on his feet and drive through the ball carrier,” says Mele. “Again, this isn’t all the time, but with as good as the skilled players will be on the next level, it’s a habit that will come back to haunt him when he gets to college.”