Former Georgia Tech cornerback D.J. White has given NFL scouts plenty of material to judge him, having started 44 games over the course of his Yellow Jackets career. The combination of experience, playmaking and athletic ability has earned him standing as a solid prospect for the NFL draft, which takes place April 28-30 next week.
And the guy can dress.
White wore suits to visits to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ and Indianapolis Colts’ headquarters, as befits a holder of a business administration degree from Tech.
“I went all out with it,” White said.
White said he bought the suits from H&M for the specific purpose of pre-draft visits.
“I try to present myself in a business fashion, because it is an interview,” he said.
It made an impression on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who told White that he appreciated people dressing up. White said that on the Pittsburgh visit, he was the only one of the handful of prospects there that day who went with the business look. There was one other player in a suit (out of four) in Indianapolis.
“I think one of the guys, I won’t mention names, was like, Man, that suit is fresh,” White said. “He was asking me questions about it. I think they didn’t come at me the wrong way, but it was an ‘O.K., I see what you’re doing’ type deal.”
Not only that, but White wore a yellow shirt with a plaid yellow and black tie to Pittsburgh and a navy tie with a white and navy checked shirt to Indianapolis. White insisted it was a coincidence. He said that his girlfriend, who he said is not much of a football fan and didn’t know the teams’ colors, picked the ensembles.
As for the actual visits, in which White met with coaches, assistants and executives, he was suitably impressed. He said that Tomlin came across as genuine and people-oriented and that Pittsburgh is “a high-class organization, top to bottom.”
White said he has a lot of respect for Colts coach Chuck Pagano, whose battle with leukemia has been well-documented, and that Pagano told him that he liked what he saw of White on film.
“So I got a good vibe from him, as well,” White said.
White said both teams tried to find out from White what he thought made him stick out as a player and how he could contribute.
“For me, I told them my playmaking ability,” he said. “I told them at Georgia Tech, I was fortunate enough to make a lot of plays that were pivotal in critical moments of the game, and game-changing plays. That kind of was my selling point to the teams.”
What a pre-draft visit means is difficult to ascertain, but each team is permitted 30, so it presumably carries some sort of value.
Worth noting – the Colts sent defensive backs coach Greg Williams to Tech’s pro day, after which he and White went back to team offices to watch game video together and had White explain Tech’s coverages to him. It’s either a rather intensive smokescreen on a player who figures to go in the mid-to-late rounds or perhaps there’s actual interest.
“The draft process is crazy, but I guess it does show a lot of interest,” White said.
In the meantime, White has continued to work out with combine trainer Chip Smith in Norcross and at Tech, staying sharp with position drills and keeping his cardiovascular level up.
White said his agent, Tony Paige, has told him that he’s heard White could go anywhere from rounds 4 to 7. CBS Sports rates him as the No. 21 cornerback prospect in the draft.
“At this point, all the major stuff is over with,” he said. “Now it’s just the waiting process.”