Troup’s White ready for college journey
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Troup High’s Royce White knows there are no guarantees, but as he prepares for his college journey, he does so with the intention of getting on the field as soon as possible.
White, an all-state offensive linemen, has signed a letter of intent to join the football program at the University of Memphis, a decision he celebrated during a ceremony in the Troup indoor practice facility on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m going to do everything I can to start my first year, and if it doesn’t happen that’s how it is, but I’m going to do everything I can to make it happen,” White said.
To help with that process, White plans on enrolling early at Memphis, meaning he’ll be able to go through the full offseason program as well as spring practice with his new teammates and coaches.
“I knew that if I graduated early, I’d have a better chance to play sooner, so I had to take it,” White said.
White committed to Memphis in February, and he hasn’t had any second thoughts since then, and he made it official and signed his letter of intent as soon as he was permitted to.
Wednesday marked the first day of the early-signing period, and White submitted his official paperwork in the morning.
“I fell in love with the coaches and the program,” White said. “I love the way they do things there.”
As the season went along, more schools expressed an interest in White, but his heart belonged to Memphis.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “Even if some SEC schools would have offered, I wouldn’t have thought about it. I’m all in for Memphis.”
White, a three-year starter, is a player who his coach at Troup believes has a chance to not only succeed in college, but keep playing the sport on the professional level.
“I don’t want to put pressure on him, but I do believe potential-wise he has a chance to be playing for a long time,” Glisson said.
White begin playing football when he was a seventh-grader at Long Cane Middle School, and it took him a while to warm up to the sport.
As the years passed by, football came to mean more and more to White, and now he couldn’t imagine life without it.
“In middle school, I didn’t even want to play football,” White said. “The coaches were dragging me, bringing me to practice. I went from that to loving football. It’s my life right now. I couldn’t imagine not being a part of football. I changed my major from computer science to becoming a strength coach, because I want to be around football.”
White values the time he had at Troup, as well as the lessons he learned and the guidance he received from his coaches.
“They taught me everything,” White said. “They taught me that character is a real big thing. How you act on and off the field, how good of a person you are. They really helped me develop my character.”
White was the only Troup football player to sign on Wednesday, although other members of the team will sign in January.
Troup did have one other signee on Wednesday, with equipment manager Christian Morris signing a scholarship with Reinhardt University.
For Glisson, the opportunity to help student-athletes realize a goal and make it to the next level is immensely satisfying.
“Now, you get to see some fruits of that labor, and people get to see we really mean what we say,” Glisson said. “These two guys, as they’re up they’re talking, they handle themselves very well, they’re very bright. I get teary-eyed. I’ve spoken to both of those guys for at least four years, almost five. Now they’re leaving us and going on to bigger things. It’s bitter-sweet. Both of those guys are great representations of who you are as a program.”