LAURINBURG — An offseason filled with mounting accolades for Scotland sophomore tailback Zamir White culminated Wednesday with another prestigious distinction.
247sports.com, one of the leading websites in high school basketball and football recruiting, slotted White No. 2 in its top 100 for the class of 2018.
247 debuted the rankings Wednesday.
“To be honest, words can’t explain it, it’s crazy,” White said after hearing about the honor.
White is listed as the No. 1 overall player in North Carolina, and is one of only two recruits nationally that were bestowed with a five-star recruiting grade. Trevor Lawrence, a pro-style quarterback who attends Cartersville High School in Georgia, earned the top spot in 247’s rankings.
When asked if any part of him wanted to see the No. 1 ranking beside his name, White said “a lot of it did” but replied confidently, “it’s coming soon.”
White has already laid out a blueprint for how he hopes to overtake Lawrence and be nationally recognized as the best player in the 2018 class.
“Working harder, asking questions, and just do what I do best — play ball,” he said.
Earlier this week, White was invited to play in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which is considered one of the top high school football showcases in the country. The game is held in San Antonio, Texas, which White will participate in when he is a senior.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, who is affectionately called “Zeus” by his teammates, coaches and many in the community, burst onto the scene in Scotland’s opening game last season against South View. After the Scots built a 42-0 halftime lead against the Tigers, coach Richard Bailey subbed White in to give his young tailback some playing experience.
On the first carry of his high school career, White scampered for a 61-yard touchdown run, and from there slowly saw his reps increase as the season progressed. His first 100-yard game came in a 44-10 victory over Purnell Swett, where he rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries.
By midseason, Bailey’s gameplan called for White and then-senior Quadrin Williams to split carries. The strategy paid immediate dividends — Williams, who will continue his career at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, earned all-Southeastern Conference honors and finished with 1,293 yards and 15 touchdowns while White totaled 1,231 yards and 18 scores with a 7.9 yards-per-carry average.
White admitted that he was lost at times on the field and in practice last season due to his inexperience, but said he’s become much more knowledgeable of the offense as he enters his sophomore campaign.
“I feel like I did good, but I feel like I can do better as a player and a teammate and just helping out,” White said.
White saved his best performances for Scotland’s biggest games, with his signature moment coming in the Scots’ 29-22 road victory over Pinecrest. His 46-yard touchdown run on a third-and-7 play with 1:20 remaining was the game-winning score that allowed his team to keep pace with rival Richmond Senior in the SEC conference race.
White rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders in the regular-season finale to help the Scots clinch their fourth straight SEC title, and followed that performance by totaling 313 yards and four touchdowns in Scotland’s first two playoff games.
The soft-spoken sophomore said that while he enjoyed the many successes he achieved last year, Bailey and his staff remind him to stay grounded and to continue to put in the necessary work on and off the field.
“All of my coaches tell me every day to stay humble,” White said.
Despite playing only one year of high school football, White already holds a dozen scholarship tenders from programs across the country. According to 247, North Carolina, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, East Carolina, Georgia, N.C. State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin have all offered him.
As for the upcoming season with the Scots, White has lofty expectations for himself and the team as they prepare to take the field for the season-opener on Aug. 21 against South View.
“I just want us to win a state championship, and I want to get over 2,500 yards and about 30 touchdowns or more,” he said.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.