Union Grove DB commits to South Florida

Jeff Hurndon Photography
Union Grove defensive back D.J. White recently made a verbal commitment to South Florida.

Jeff Hurndon Photography Union Grove defensive back D.J. White recently made a verbal commitment to South Florida.

By Derrick Mahone


The University of South Florida offered the main characteristics that Union Grove junior D.J. White was looking for in a school.

After weighing offers from several schools, the defensive back decided to commit to South Florida Thursday.

"It is a great place," White said. "I can see myself living down there. They have great facilities and a great business school. I took a look at the depth chart, and I see that I can get some playing time early."

White chose the Big East Conference school over offers from South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Cal, Vanderbilt, Purdue and Ole Miss. He said he is solid in his commitment.

"Yes, sir very solid on this," he said.

"D.J. is a well-rounded football player, he is an intelligent football player," Union Grove coach Paul Burgdorf said. "There is no question at all they he can play on that level."

The Wolverines will use him at both defensive back and wide receiver this season. Union Grove opens spring practice on May 9, and Burgdorf expects several college coaches to attend some practices.

Burgdorf said that White has been nominated to play in the prestigious U.S. Army All-Star game. They are awaiting word to see if he will be extended an invitation.

Waiting For This: Earlier this week, Union Grove junior basketball player Charles Mann received some welcomed news. The 6-foot-3 guard received an offer from national champion UConn on Thursday.

A New York native, Mann had been waiting on an offer from the Big East Conference school.

"Just received the best news all day, baby!!!just received an offer from UCONN#hard work paying off," Mann posted on his Facebook page Thursday evening.

This past season, he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wolverines to a 14-11 record, runner-up finish in Region 3-AAAA. He was named first-team All-Southern Crescent by the Clayton Daily News/Henry Daily Herald and was selected to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North-South Juniors Showcase.

Followiing Stephenson's Plan: Drew coach Jarrett Laws said he will institute the plan that coach Ron Gartrell has followed during his tenure at Stephenson High in Stone Mountain.

Each year, Gartrell has nearly 20 players to sign football scholarships.

Laws is hopeful that he can get several of his players looked at by colleges as the second-year school will have its first graduation class next spring.

He is headed in the right direction as two players have already been offered college scholarships.

Defensive backs Jadarius West and Devon Miller have scholarship offers from defending SEC East champion South Carolina. Thursday, West got his second offer when Kentucky extended a scholarship.

"We are hoping to start a pipeline much like Stephenson," Laws said. "We are going to load up the vans this summer and get these guys in camps to get looked at. Each year, people always talk about Stephenson not winning a state title, but he has championships when he can get 20-plus kids in school each year. You can't argue with that because that is the most important thing."

Tuoyo's new offer: Lovejoy junior standout Justin Tuoyo tweeted from Dallas, where he is playing in a big AAU tournament this weekend that Richmond has offered.

The 6-foot-9 center has had Virginia Commonwealth, Memphis, UCF, Virginia Tech and South Florida among his favorites.

Several other players from the Southern Crescent, including North Clayton teammates Marcus Hunt and Devin "Tank" Lewis, are in Dallas for the tournament.