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White says 'Hook 'em'

1/2/2010 - Texas Longhorns

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In a Red River Shootout of sorts with Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all battling for five-star receiver Darius White (Fort Worth, Texas/Dunbar), White announced he would play for the Longhorns during the fourth quarter of the Under Armour All-America Game.

"I'm going to UT," White said. "[The Longhorns' associate athletics director for football operations] coach Cleve Bryant was big for me. When I talked to him he showed me a good time and seemed like a person that would really take care of me. He seemed like a father figure-type. I felt the same way about Oklahoma State, but I decided to choose UT."

White, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, has always maintained that his mother and grandmother were going to be a big part of his decision-making process. Having their support took a lot of pressure off.

"I decided on Texas maybe a week or two ago. I just sat down and talked to my mom about everything and decided that UT is where I wanted to go," White said. "My mom and grandmother told me wherever I go they will be there to support me with my jersey on. They said if I went to Alaska, they would be there with me in the cold supporting me. That means a lot to me."

For months, the Sooners were thought to hold the lead for the No. 9 prospect in the ESPNU 150. As decision time drew nearer, living in Texas after school and football was a prevailing thought.

"I thought about a lot of other stuff. At first, I wanted to go to Texas because I've liked them since I was real little," White said. "Then I started thinking if I moved off and went to Oklahoma or LSU or somewhere like that, [it would be good for a while] but my life after school and football was important. I want to live in Texas, and I know Texas will look after me when I'm done with school."

Texas will lose versatile senior receiver Jordan Shipley but will return a number of experienced receivers on the outside. Despite the returning experience, White, a two-sport star, intends to get on the field early.

"Coach [Mack] Brown said I can play early if I go in and do my work, learn the plays. I know I can do that because [Dunbar] coach [Todd] Lawson has worked us hard, so I know I can put in the work. Then it's just seeing how it's going to go," he said.

The Longhorns have been riding a wave of momentum on the recruiting trail. This week in practice, White got an up-close look at the strength of the Longhorns' recruiting class.

"I was looking at the practice field and said that if I did choose UT that we're going to have a real good recruiting class on the offensive and defensive side," White said. "It's going to be really good."

White becomes the 22nd commitment in the Longhorns class, including the 13th from the ESPNU 150. He is the first five-star commitment for Texas.

Gerry Hamilton has covered recruiting in Texas and the Southwest for more than a decade. He can be reached at espngerry@yahoo.com.