Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Rashad White, a 5-foot-11, 178-pound running back who rushed for more than 5,000 yards and 43 touchdowns at Teaneck High School and initially committed to Rutgers for 2008, said he is not academically qualified and will not attend Rutgers at all.
“I didn’t qualify,” White, 18, said during a phone interview Friday night. “That’s why I had to go to Lackawanna College (in Scranton, Pa.).”
White spent part of the summer at Lackawanna, a junior college, before leaving in late August, but said the Rutgers coaches had stopped communicating with him or returning his calls by that point.
“I left Lackawanna Aug. 24,” White said. “I was in camp. I got hurt and I came back up (home) to see my doctor. I gave Rutgers a call to let them know and they never picked up. I told my mom about it and said I felt like that wasn’t the place I wanted to go anymore.”
By that point, it appears the Rutgers staff had stopped recruiting him.
White said he suffered a “badly bruised meniscus” at Lackawanna, but “it’s been healing pretty good now.”
He said a couple of schools have expressed interest in bringing him in in January, potentially to play slot receiver.
“Right now I got three schools interested in me, Delaware State, Temple and North Carolina A&T,” White said. “They’re working on getting me in for the second semester as of now.”
“He’s not qualified right now,” added Chris Melvin of EliteRecruits.com, who is close to White and also picks the talent for the New York/New Jersey All-Star Game. “He never qualified for Rutgers, but he wasn’t aware that he wasn’t qualified until after he committed. He still has to qualify but schools are looking at him as a potential admit.”
A lightning-quick back with the ability to make defenders miss, White rushed for 1,463 yards and 16 TD as a senior at Teaneck in 2007 after a junior campaign in which he rushed for 2,386 yards and 26 TDs.
Still, White said he wants to play slot receiver at his next destination.
“I want to play slot,” he said. “My preferred position would be slot.”
Last November, then-Teaneck coach Dennis Heck said a number of schools — North Carolina, Tennessee, LSU and Notre Dame — continued to pursue White even after he had committed to Rutgers.
“The parade just keeps ongoing,” Heck said then. “Every week it’s somebody else who calls. I can’t stop them from coming.”
Now, his options appear to be much different.
“Every school has their own guidelines and own criteria,” Melvin said. “(Marcus) Witherspoon got into Rutgers but he didn’t get into Michigan. George Johnson got admitted into Rutgers, but not Virginia.”
White was one of three Rutgers recruits who did not turn up for camp this summer. WR Malcolm Johnson of Bartow, Fla. and DE Kevin Egan of West Hartford, Conn., were the other two. Johnson, the No. 37 wideout according to ESPN.com, is the cousin of Rutgers WR Tim Brown.
Rutgers is still searching for its primary ball-carrier in the post-Ray Rice Era. Kordell Young started the first game of the season against Fresno State and rushed for 94 yards on 26 carries, but hasn’t played since after re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee.
Fellow sophomore Mason Robinson has been bothered by a hip pointer and played limited minutes against Navy and Morgan State.
Entering Saturday’s tilt at West Virginia (noon, SNY), redshirt freshman Jourdan Brooks has emerged as the team’s top running threat, scoring five TDs in the last two games, a loss at Navy and a home win over Morgan State.
One thing seems certain now: White won’t be in the mix next year.
**Speaking of Rutgers and its recruits, my esteemed colleague Kevin Armstrong of SI.com has a stellar story on incoming QB Tom Savage, who may turn out to be the heir to fifth-year senior Mike Teel.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.