LAURINBURG — Everyone in Scotland County knew there would come a time when Zamir White would no longer suit up on Friday nights for the Fighting Scots.
That time came three weeks sooner than expected.
The University of Georgia commit suffered a torn ACL in the second half of Friday’s playoff game against Seventy-First. White and Scots head coach Richard Bailey initially thought the senior had just hyper extended his knee because he walking around following the game.
Bailey said White was fine after Friday’s game and had more than likely just “tweaked” his knee.
That turned out not to be the case.
Bailey confirmed Monday afternoon that White suffered a torn ACL during the third quarter of Friday’s playoff game.
“Zamir tore his ACL on Friday which is very unfortunate for him, but we expect him to make a full recovery and have a tremendous career,” he said. “We will pull together and find a way to keep going.”
The Fighting Scots skipper discussed the injury more at length on his radio show Monday on WLNC.
“Zamir is such a tough kid that when he came out of the game Friday he just thought he had hyper extended his knee a little bit,” Bailey said. “Zamir was walking fine and didn’t say it was bothering him. We thought he was fine and I asked him probably 10 times after that, ‘hey are you okay?’ and he kept saying ‘yeah coach I’m good.’”
White traveled to the University of Georgia on Saturday to watch the Bulldogs play Kentucky. The Georgia training staff looked at White’s knee after he noticed it appeared swollen. According to Bailey the Georgia trainers didn’t like what they saw when they examined White’s knee and had their orthopedic doctor take a look.
“They have the capability down there to do an MRI on site. They went ahead and did the MRI and obviously the news wasn’t good. Your heart just breaks for Zamir, first and foremost, it’s been an unbelievable four years and as Scotland fans we’ve been able to witness one of the best high school football players in the United States play for the last four years. That kind of talent doesn’t come around, that’s a generational kind of talent.“
The injury is season ending for the Fighting Scots tailback because recovery time for a torn ACL is around nine months to one year — depending on the severity of the injury.
White ends is senior campaign with 148 carries for 2,085 rushing yards with 34 rushing touchdowns and 38 total touchdowns. For his high school career, White tallied 738 carries for 7,168 yards with 119 rushing touchdowns and 127 touchdowns.
Those staggering statistics ranks White fifth all time in North Carolina in total touchdowns and ninth all time in total rushing yards.
White plans to sign his letter of intent to play for the University of Georgia on Dec. 20, the first day of the early signing period.
The Scots senior planned to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 6 before flying straight from San Antonio to Athens to begin classes at Georgia.
It is unclear if White will be fully recovered by the start of his freshman football season. The Bulldogs do have the option to red shirt White next season and give him additional time to recover while maintaining his four years of playing eligibility.
The Fighting Scots will continue their chase for a 4A state championship ring on Friday against No. 4 South Central. Junior Syheam “Smiley” McQueen will assume the role of feature back and will likely split carries with quarterback Warren Bell.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.