Newcomer Tevin White is looking to make a name for himself in the backfield at Arizona State

Tevin White was one of the chosen few. A handful of high school prospects who decided to sign with Arizona State’s football program despite the NCAA’s ongoing investigation into recruiting violations.

The outcome of that investigation and subsequent penalties have yet to be revealed, but White had no reservations about making it official during the December early signing period.

He is graduating early from North Stafford High School in Virginia to be eligible for spring practices taking place this month at the Tempe campus.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder was one of six high school prospects to sign with ASU. He paid an official visit to ASU last summer and made a verbal commitment on June 24, his mother Tania’s birthday. This was just about a week after the launch of the investigation became public. White’s decision comes down to his faith in the coaching staff.

“I believe in what coaches do,[running backs]coach Shaun Aguano,” he said after practice last week. “Coach Herm (Edwards) treated me and my family as if we were already part of the team when I visited, so I feel like the most important thing was definitely the staff of coaches.”

It’s not like White’s options are limited either. His last half-dozen schools also included Penn State, Georgia, South Carolina, Duke and Tennessee. He also received offers from Michigan State, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.

The four-star prospect will fill an immediate need with ASU losing two of its top three running backs to Rachaad White, who declared for the draft, and underclass DeaMonte “Chip” Trayanum, who traded to Ohio State where he expects to play linebacker.

The third installment of what Aguano liked to call his three-headed monster goes to Daniyel Ngata. But Aguano feels like he has another solid three-man rotation with the addition of Wyoming transfer Xazavian Valladay. The George Hart walk-on could also be considered if injuries rule out the top three, as it did a year ago.

As for running style, Aguano says White should be similar to Trayanum who was the more physical runner with the others being slashers.

“It’s different not having Chip for that bigger body, but hopefully Tevin (White) can come. Physically, he’ll be that guy. It might take a year or two. because he’s just a little baby, but he’s going to be just as productive.”

White said he likes the backs being used in the passing game which plays to another of his strengths. He spoke a bit with Rachaad White who took part in training and stayed in the area while training for the upcoming draft.

“He (Rachaad) said don’t overthink everything. Let the talent come naturally. Make sure you do your duty. Make sure you do the little things right,” Tevin White said.

As of now, it’s Ngata who got first-team reps but that doesn’t mean much as he’s the only one to return from last season.

Like last year, there is competition for the races, but White says his goal is to improve and transition from high school to college.

“Even with Chip and Rachaad gone, we had Z, Daniyel, George. It’s really good competition. I’m just trying to do my best. I’m still competing,” White said. “It’s definitely faster. I always do what I can do to the best of my ability. It’s faster top-level competition.”

Last season, the Sun Devils finished fifth in the Pac 12 in rushing offense (193.3 YPG). Not only are major backfield components gone, so is quarterback Jayden Daniels, who rushed for 710 yards. So, yes, it will be a new look all around.

“It’s a new offense with the departure of JD5 (Daniels), a new offensive coordinator. But I think we’re going to do more running and ball passing instead of a more mobile quarterback type deal, having a lot of running backs incorporated into the passing lanes so that fits my style of play,” White said.

Lole on the mend

Senior three-point tackle Jermayne Lole continues to recover from a triceps injury that occurred last August. The Sun Devils are taking a cautious approach, so he hasn’t been involved in contact work yet.

Defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez is warning everyone to be realistic about their expectations when his most veteran lineman returns.

Lole has started 20 games, entering the starting lineup in the middle of his proper debut season in 2018. He hasn’t played since the final game of the 2020 season.

“It’s not realistic for us to assume that he’s going to get his feet back on the ground and continue to play at the level he was at the last time you saw him play,” he said. “It’s been a long time now and then. We have to get him back up to speed. Good coaches make sure we do the right things to get him in a position to get his feet under him, but that’s huge because with Jermayne isn’t just physical. You don’t line him up and let him go. There’s a lot he brings to the team both mentally and emotionally to make your room better. That’s also an additional motivation.

Tips

–Redshirt freshman linebacker Jaydon Williams injured his knee during non-contact special teams work Saturday and had to be assisted from the field. But he reportedly returned later in practice after the media were kicked out of the viewing portion. Williams was on the practice ground on Monday morning, however.

–Redshirt sophomore linebacker Caleb McCullough participated in light drills but wore a non-contact green jersey.

– Full-back Case Hatch has returned to training after not taking part last week.

– Among those in attendance was former ASU running back Rudy Burgess (2004-2007), who brought along his young son.

— Monday’s practice was the eighth of 15 spring sessions. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday and the team will also visit Friday and Saturday.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602 444-4783. Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

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