Desmon White knew he needed to find the right situation and coaches to realize his dream of playing major-college football.
The undersized DeSoto quarterback discovered both at North Texas.
UNT became the first, and thus far only, school that competes on the Football Bowl Subdivision level to offer the 5-8, 160-pound senior a scholarship on Wednesday afternoon. White committed to UNT a short time later.
Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day recruits in the class of 2014 can sign national letters of intent is Feb. 5.
“It was my size — I’m a 5-8 quarterback,” White said of why other schools decided to not offer him a scholarship. “UNT took a chance on me. I’m glad they did.”
UNT recruited White as a slot receiver and kick returner, a role that Brelan Chancellor, another undersized player, has thrived in during his career with the Mean Green.
White has shown the type of athletic ability that could help him produce in a similar role while guiding DeSoto to a 5-0 start. He has thrown for 1,365 yards and rushed for 585 this season.
Last week, White threw for 362 yards and rushed for an additional 146 while accounting for five touchdowns in a 50-0 win over South Grand Prairie with members of UNT’s staff on hand.
White was the Co-Offensive MVP of District 7-5A last season.
“He will fit in anywhere because he can play anywhere,” DeSoto coach Cluade Mathis said. “He will be able to make the transition to playing in the slot in college. He is very quick and fast and also brings a lot of intangibles to the table. He has handled all the situations he has faced here playing against some of the best teams in the state.”
White was recruited by UNT cornerbacks coach Ryan Walters. He plans to attend the Mean Green’s home game against Middle Tennessee on Oct. 12.
“The kind of offense they run is what I like,” White said. “They want me to return punts and kicks. They also want me to be a slot receiver and a wildcat quarterback, just like they use Brelan Chancellor. They told me that I will play a role like the one he is playing.”
UNT’s connection with the DeSoto program also helped the Mean Green land White.
Shaq Jackson and Johnavhan Grahm, a pair of defensive linemen who also are seniors at DeSoto, committed to UNT earlier this year.
“Johnavhan and I have been friends since Little League,” White said. “He decided to go to North Texas. I figured I would go with him.”
UNT senior linebacker Zach Orr and junior receiver Darius Terrell also are DeSoto products.
Mathis sees some parallels between Orr, a two-time second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection, and White.
“Teams are scared of his size, but he has put up great numbers against good teams,” Mathis said of White. “That’s not a fluke. He’s the real deal. He won’t disappoint. They said Zach Orr was too short.”
Orr has been more than big enough during his time at UNT. Mathis says the same will be true for White.
NORTH TEXAS RECRUITS
The following is a list of players who have orally committed to sign with UNT in 2014:
Dallas South Oak Cliff
Edmond (Okla.) North