Aug. 6, 2014
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word
The 2013 season ended way too soon for D.J. White.
The cornerback from McDonough, Ga. (Union Grove High School), who started the final eight games of the season (nine overall), was winding up as Georgia Tech’s season wound down. White finished the season with 50 tackles (40 solo), good for fourth on the team and second among Tech defensive backs, and closed strong recording at least five stops in three of the Jackets’ last four games — Clemson, Georgia and Ole Miss. He had five tackles, total, in 10 games as a freshman.
White saved his best for last in 2013, recording a career-best 11 tackles in the Music City Bowl against Ole Miss, during which he also made his first interception, defended five passes and tied a school single-game record by forcing two fumbles.
But he was not content to sit on his laurels following his breakout last season. White considers his work on The Flats, as well as his game, very much unfinished. He addressed the latter during rigorous the off-season workouts and has set his sights on the former during the upcoming 2014 season.
White took a few minutes after Tuesday’s practice to talk with The Good Word about who he would like to, but can’t, hit in practice, who he can’t wait to play with in 2014 and why he can’t play himself in his favorite video game, NCAA Football.
1. THE GOOD WORD: How would you assess the early days of practice in pads?
D.J. White: I feel like each day we’ve kind of picked up the intensity and guys are flying around and making plays. I’m excited. That’s what you come here for. That’s what you strap it up for.
2. TGW: Is it difficult to lay off the quarterbacks?
WHITE: It is because of our offense. But you definitely don’t what to hurt those guys because we need them for the season.
3. TGW: You capped off a phenomenal 2013 season in the Music City Bowl. Did you realize you were having the game you were having?
WHITE: Once you get into a rhythm you don’t really think about it. You’re just out there reacting and making plays. But it was a lot of fun. When you have games like that it’s fun. Obviously, we didn’t get the win. That was disappointing. But from a personal standpoint it was big for me. It kind of gave me something to shoot for this year. Obviously, I’ve still got work to do. I’m just hoping to build off of that.
4. TGW: You played next to Jamal Golden last year until he got hurt, and probably will start next to him this year. How big an advantage is it knowing each other?
WHITE: Jamal knows the defense, he communicates well and he’s athletic. He makes plays. So I’m excited to see what he has to bring to the table.
5. TGW: What did you do during the summer when you weren’t working out?
WHITE: A lot of fishing. I went to the lakes up in Marietta, I actually went down to Florida, fished a couple of times. That was relaxing for me. I caught 10 fish in one outing. So that was the most for me.
BONUS. TGW: You’re a big player of EA Sports’ NCAA Football. Do you put yourself on your team?
WHITE: I don’t. I don’t even like playing myself with Georgia Tech on the game. (laughs). I wasn’t too good on 2013, but 2014 I got my ratings up a little bit. I could get a little higher rating, but it’s all fun.
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