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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football: #40 Drew White, Linebacker

Pat Rick talks about reserve linebacker Drew White’s past, present, and future — spoiler, his future is being known as “White Drew”

Photo Credit: Twitter (@Drew_white11)

And so begins another round of “This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football” here on OFD. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2019 season.

#40 Drew White, LB

Drew White, now a junior, arrived at Notre Dame in 2017 as a 3-star, under-the-radar inside linebacker recruit from Boca Raton, Florida. As a bit of a project, he was a little undersized and definitely not ready to play as a true freshman, instead manning the scout team and redshirting along with 9 other classmates.

Last year, White found himself a few spots down on the middle linebacker depth chart, and because of the immense amount of playing time snagged by star middle linebacker Drue Tranquill, White played very sparingly. However, he did see a bump in PT against the Navy Midshipmen when Tranquill went down with an injury, playing pretty well in that one and managing to rack up 6 tackles.

With that said, White only had 2 other tackles the entire 2018 season, and clearly had a few guys ahead of him in the pecking order at linebacker.

Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, or Chicago

“White Horse” - Taylor Swift

Choosing to think Taylor sang this song about the absolute stallion known to us as Drew White.

And no, I didn’t listen to the song, so if assigning this one to him is somehow insulting instead of glorifying, I only sort of apologize.

Hey Dog “White Drew” HEY!

Doing our best to make sure you know which one of man’s best friends match each Notre Dame player.

White Steve

In this case, I’m going to go a little off-the-wall here, and instead of choosing a canine man’s best friend, I will instead choose one of Notre Dame basketball’s recent man’s-best-friends (at least in Pat Rick’s eyes), Steve “White Steve” Vasturia.

Our fearless leader Joshua Vowles pointed out to me on Slack today that Drew White’s name is so easy to turn into “White Drew” that it makes way too much sense not to start calling him that, and so I absolutely plan on doing so.

Steve “White Steve” Vasturia was one of my favorite Mike Brey players to ever come through the ND program, and so it’s a no-brainer that I want Drew White to pick up this glorious nickname in honor of him.

For anyone wondering why I call White Steve the name White Steve, please refer to the Torii Hunter Jr. quote below that started it all, as Hunter reacted to White Steve’s game-clinching three to defeat the #4 Duke Blue Devils at home in 2015:

Just because I love reliving that game, here are the highlights:

From that point forward, I did what I do with any other nickname I like — forced it until it stuck.

My friends and I would all yell “White Steve!!!!” whenever White Steve did anything of note during games, later it became what I exclusively called him in my writing (and commenters accepted it as his proper moniker), and so I intend on now doing the same nickname-forcing with White Drew whenever I see him take the field or write about him or even just think about him.

Drew White, henceforth, shall be known as White Drew. Let’s dance.

2019 Outlook

Looking at this coming season, one might think the losses of Tranquill and Te’von Coney would mean more potential playing time for White Drew, but that’s likely not the case, save for garbage time or special teams.

5th-year senior Asmar Bilal is expected to slide into the starting middle linebacker role, and talented sophomores Shayne Simon and Bo Bauer have also been slotted at middle linebacker, where they seem to have jumped White Drew in the depth chart.

Senior Jonathan Jones also is likely ahead of White Drew, meaning White Drew won’t see the field much unless — knock on wood — a bunch of guys go down.

With that said, White Drew appears to be a hardworking kid who does what’s asked of him when called upon (see Navy 2018), so expect him to make some plays on special teams and to go all-out when he does make his way onto the field for defense. I think he ends up not playing a ton, but setting himself up to be a reliable reserve in his final year or two in South Bend.

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