“He’s extremely versatile,” Springstead Athletic Director Dustin Kupcik said of former Springstead Athlete Nick White. “He’s a kid that we couldn’t get off the field because he could play so many positions.” While White primarily played center and offensive tackle over his time with the Eagles’ football team, many colleges have projected the multi-positional player as a tight end at the next level. A total of 29 different collegiate institutions noticed the Springstead star’s versatility and extended him the offer to play for their teams. That number is enough to make the future tight end the most offered player in Springstead history.
Of this bevy of offers, three stood out to the 6’0, 220-pound athlete. These include the Warner University Royals, the Florida Central Tech Bulls, and the Georgia Southern Eagles. The Royals found their way onto White’s short list by pairing their offer with a 50 percent scholarship. With the Eagles being White’s lone division 1 offer, the promise of being a preferred walk-on at one of the highest levels of collegiate football made Georgia Southern an enticing destination.
It was ultimately the Bulls that received Nick’s commitment, though, as attending Florida Central Tech allows him to “pause time on the clock,” White said. “After my senior year I could’ve been bigger, faster, stronger, but it stops my clock. So, I’m able to do a medical year and then my redshirt year.” After playing for the Bulls for two years, the former Springstead athlete will then be able to transfer to a university as a freshman. With colleges such as the University of South Florida, Coastal Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina showing him interest, White is looking to enter one of these larger institutions once he has developed further. The prep school also sweetened the deal by presenting the future tight end with a 75 percent scholarship. According to White, this offer would make the 18-year-old the only player currently on Florida Central Tech’s roster to receive such an honor.
If colleges are so keen to sign the athlete as a tight end, what was it that kept White from playing the position more often than being in the trenches? While the aforementioned adaptability presents some nuance to the question, the answer invariably comes down to necessity. “He kind of always had soft hands for a lineman,” Coach Kupcik said. “He really was someone that we wanted to play at tight end. In a perfect world, he was a tight end for us.” The season had other plans, however, as the team was “decimated” by injury and Coronavirus related complications. This forced the Eagles’ coaching staff to put together the best offensive line they could with the players who remained. Unfortunately for White, that resulted in the talented then-senior seeing his reps split between tackle, center, and tight end. Despite this, he had the opportunity to show off his hands and route running ability in seven-on-sevens for Florida Central Tech and “I hung in with the big dogs,” White said. “So, they know I’m about it.”
The three-year varsity letter winner was rewarded for his play as a senior as the utility player was named to the FACA All-District Team, first team all Gulf Coast Eight Conference, and the Glory Days All County Team for the 2021-2022 season. In a release posted on the Springstead Athletics website, it also notes that White was a member of a 9-2 district runner up and playoff squad in 2019 “that broke the school record for points in the regular season.”
When asked if there was a time he felt the talented football player made the leap to the next level, Springstead Defensive Coordinator Frank Hynes remarked that the transformation began to show itself during Nick’s Sophomore campaign. “Probably in his Sophomore year when we started moving him around and I started seeing that he has the ability to play multiple positions. In football, to be able to play multiple positions, especially on the offensive line, means that you’re a really good athlete.” As a coach who has observed and trained with White since he was in sixth grade, Coach Hynes has seen him evolve as a player. If the staff needed him at defensive line or linebacker, the Springstead coach feels that Nick would have flourished at those positions as well.
White’s ability to excel in various situations is evidence of the work he puts into being an effective player. “Well, I mean I’m dedicated, man,” Nick White said. “I’m a hard worker. I give 110 percent wherever I go, and I work hard for all my stuff. Nothing’s handed to me. Nothing’s spoon-fed anymore.”