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Sports

Senior Spotlight: Football's Reggie White Jr.

Football 12.05.18Reggie White Jr., set the all-time career reception and receiving records at Monmouth University and in the Big South conference, and is a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.

“Most people come in wanting to be like somebody, but I had the mentality of being better,” said White Jr. Miles Austin,  Chris Hogan, Neal Sterling, Hakeem Valles, Darnell Leslie, and Mike Basile are all Monmouth University football historians/legends, but you must not forget to add White to the wall of fame.

The 6’3” Baltimore, Maryland native wide receiver understands the importance of dedication in anything that you do. “Football taught me a lot of life lessons, teaching me how to trust the process when you have your ups and downs”, said White Jr. “If you keep working hard, it is going to pay off one day.”

White Jr. understands the importance of patience from playing no games his freshman year to becoming a four-time all-conference, third team preseason All-American, and national record-breaker. “My freshman year was a time for me to grow as a student of the game becoming familiar with the playbook and physically preparing my body for a new level of football,” said White Jr.

It is White Jr.’s father, Reggie White Sr., who influenced him to play football. “My father basically put the football in my hand,” White Jr. said. White Sr. is a former defensive tackle for the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, and New York Jets. Drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the sixth round in 1992, White Sr. went to the Super Bowl in 1995.

White Jr.’s father has always been a hard worker and that is what his father instilled in him. Nicole White, mother of White Jr., said, “I am very proud of his accomplishments and what he has done at Monmouth. He has changed the culture of Monmouth Football and I am excited for what the future has in store for him. I see Reggie playing in the NFL (National Football League) because his father has prepared him for this time,” said  White.

White sees her son experiencing success even if he does not make it to the NFL. “I can see Reggie working with kids and/or either coaching football,” said White. “He loves working with children.”

White was ecstatic when her son shattered records. “I only missed one record-breaking game. I believe Reggie would have broken records wherever he went,” said White. 

As his mother described, White Jr. in high school was like any other ordinary kid. “In high school, he was always a good kid and might stay out late once in a while,” she said.

White also said that her son performs his duty as an older brother. “He has always been a huge influence to his younger brother Nick because he always goes above and beyond,” she said. White believes that Nick will shine based off of his brother’s influence.

White said that her son was recruited above and beyond by former Hawk and current Tight Ends Coach, Jeff Gallo. “Gallo was very instrumental when it came to recruiting Reggie,” she said.

Wide Receivers Coach T.J. Dimuzio was always impressed by White Jr.’s athletic ability and growth as a player. “When Reggie came in he was relatively mature,” said Dimuzio. “Redshirting humbled him going against the first string defense and showed him what he needed to do to experience success.”

White Jr. as a freshman weighed between 175 and 185 pounds. Each year he gained muscular weight and by his senior year he weighed between 215 and 225 pounds. As White Jr. became stronger, his football technique as a receiver improved as well. “Every year he became a better route runner getting in and out of cuts,” Dimuzio said. “He didn’t know what he was doing his freshman year.”

Dimuzio admires White Jr. for his character as well. “He is extremely humble for a receiver and really is the most team-oriented receiver. He cares more about the team rather than himself,” he said. “I worked with a lot of guys at Bowling Green and Delaware that played in the NFL and his mindset and maturity will allow him to prosper in the NFL.”

As White Jr.’s mother said, Dimuzio thinks that White will be in a business where he is around people such as teaching and/or coaching if he does not make the NFL. “Reggie is one of a kind and I don’t think I am going to have and/or find another wide receiver like White Jr.,” Dimuzio said. “There is never going to be a guy that has his personality, work ethic, and maturity.”

Monmouth Offensive Coordinator Kevin Morris said, “Reggie brings that demand to opponents.” Morris also believes that White Jr. has a great chance of making the NFL not just based on his athletic ability, but his mindset as well. “NFL stands for ‘Not For Long’ as well,” said Morris. “You need to have the mental aptitude and physical morals to play in the NFL. Reggie is a special breed and has the physical and mental makeup to be successful at that level,” he said.

Head Coach Kevin Callahan had nothing but positivity for the wide receiver. “When White Jr. first stepped on campus we were impressed on what he can bring based on his size,” he said. Callahan said that his size gave him the capability to make phenomenal plays and change the face of Monmouth Football. “His contribution definitely made a difference in the outcome of each season and helped bring the program to a new level.”

PHOTO TAKEN by Karlee Sell

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