Buckeyes taking ‘very different’ approach with five-star pass rusher Enai White

PITTSBURGH — Ohio State is in the mix for several of the nation’s top uncommitted pass rushers and the Buckeyes have been recruiting Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Charter star Enai White for as long as any of them. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect opened his season with a huge win over Pittsburgh Central Catholic, a 12-6 defensive slugfest. Coming all the way across the state of Pennsylvania and getting the win is a huge boost to White and his teammates as they kicked off their season on Friday night.

“This is the first of many non-league wins,” said White after the game. “Lately we’ve been lacking in our non-league play so for us to get this win, against a run heavy team that’s something we don’t really play good against. So for us to get this win is a really great way to start the season.”

White spent the first half of the game, and really much of the second half as well, trying to chase plays down from the backside. Central Catholic primarily ran the football away from White’s side of the defensive front. Perhaps that strategy should have continued late in the game when Central Catholic tried to convert a 4th and short in the game’s final minute. The play came to White’s side and he was able to shed his blocker and make the game-winning stop in the backfield, allowing his team to preserve the win.

“I watched film on that play so much that I knew it was coming,” White explained. “You know how you work for something and it finally comes? That’s how I feel. I worked for this play and I finally made it.”

As White gears up for a potentially special senior season, he also is continuing to navigate his recruiting process. He has a top four that consists of Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Texas A&M, but is also looking at a visit to Oregon at some point as well.

White made his official visit to Ohio State back in June. While many programs have been recruiting him as an outside linebacker/standup edge rusher, Ohio State sees him putting a hand in the dirt and playing a true defensive end role. The Buckeyes and defensive line guru Larry Johnson envision White as being a Chase Young or Nick Bosa type of player and that type of approach may be gaining some traction with the big-time pass rusher.

“It was very different,” White said of Larry Johnson’s recruiting approach and pitch on the official visit. “Everyone kind of sees me as an outside linebacker because I’m a tall and lanky guy but he’s willing to put the work in to make me a traditional D-End. I really play that right now, my team runs a 4-3 defense.”

When a coach with the pedigree of Johnson gives his input, that is generally something that players listen to and White is no different.

“Coach Larry Johnson, his resume is just ridiculous,” White stated. “I’m always learning from him. He’s always teaching me things, not just from a football standpoint but just about life. Just attacking the day every day, waking up and being a competitor not just with football but life. It has just been a real pleasure learning from him.”

White still has one of his official visits in his back pocket, but there will be multiple unofficial visits coming this fall as he works toward a decision. White doesn’t have anything locked in yet but could take things week by week in terms of where he’ll decide to show up.

“I’m definitely going to get to Ohio State for some games,” he explained. “We’re going to get to Bama, get to Georgia, and we’re probably go check out Oregon and check out Texas A&M for sure. (With Ohio State) we don’t have anything figured out but I know I want to get to one of those big games for sure.”

White is a five-star and No. 15 overall prospect in our Scoop100.