The Buckeyes got one of the most versatile athletes in the country in Brendon White, but they still aren't quite sure what to do with him.
White has been practicing with the team longer than any other 2017 early enrollee. Still, neither he or the coaching staff know what position – or even side of the ball – he'll be playing come spring.
"Right now I don’t really know," White said when he spoke with the media for the first time Wednesday. "I got two numbers right now for offense and defense. So right now I’m just working out, working hard and they’ll put me where it best fits me so I can be successful."
When White committed to Ohio State in October of 2015, the Darron Lee comparisons began to swirl almost immediately. An local Ohio athlete that played nearly every position in high school, including quarterback, with the speed of a safety but the build of a linebacker – it seemed perfect.
However, the Buckeyes didn't necessarily recruit him to play that position – at least not at first. White remembered an early conversation with Urban Meyer where the OSU coach tossed out a comparison, but it wasn't to Lee.
"He actually said ‘what do you like about Mike Thomas?’ and I said ‘I like it a lot,’" White said. "So when I first came, to him I was a receiver because I always said I wanted to play receiver."
White said it wasn't until he started visiting Ohio State more that Luke Fickell took interest in using his skill set, and when arrived on campus in December and began working out with the team during bowl practices, he was with the linebackers.
Still, that didn't settle it. A few weeks later, White sent a tweet hinting he may be playing receiver. He later confirmed the news, saying the staff was going to give him a shot at receiver after a few departures left the unit depleted.
"When I first got here, Coach Meyer brought me in his office and was like ‘right now we’re down,’" White said. "Noah Brown left – that was a shock to him so he said he’s going to try me out at wide receiver."
White said if a student on campus were to ask him his position, he would tell them he's a wide receiver, but he knows nothing is set in stone and he's comfortable with that. He's just leaving the decision in the hands of the coaches.
"Right now I’m just working out – working hard – and they’ll put me where it best fits me so I can be successful," White said. "I’m just gonna work out this winter, and when spring ball comes I’ll have it.”
White doesn't see himself as a player without a position, he sees himself as a player that can play any position. It's that versatility, he said, that's going to get him on the field helping the team as soon as possible.
“It definitely helps because it helps coaches know I can play all types of positions," White said. "If I play receiver and I’m struggling with that, I can go straight to linebacker and help with that. If I’m playing linebacker and struggling, I can go to safety."
Come August, Brendon White is going to be whatever the Buckeyes need him to be. And based on his high school tape, he's going to be damn good at it.