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Spartans 2025 LB Commit DJ White talks recruiting process

Spartans coach Jonathan Smith made it clear from Day 1 that his goal was to re-establish Michigan State’s recruiting presence in the state.

In April, Smith secured his first 2025 commitment in the state.

DJ White is a three-star linebacker from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, just outside of Detroit. He is the No. 14 player in Michigan and No. 81 nationally, according to 247Sports.

White spoke with Spartan Nation about the process that led to his commitment to the Spartans.

The prospect said his main contact was Michigan State defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Joe Rossi.

“We hit it off pretty quickly with coach Rossi,” White said. “He knows how to do his job, I can say that.”

Michigan State first contacted White in December. White recalled getting a FaceTime from the Spartans on his way to a school dance.

“Coach Smith (and I) talked for a minute, he told me how he liked my film, and he liked how I play linebacker, and then he made the offer to me,” White said. “Then I got in touch with coach Rossi once he was hired. We started talking a bit, he got to know me as a player. He said he saw my film, he told me I’m a good player.” player from sideline to sideline and that he likes smart linebackers.”

White said a big twist came in February when he visited East Lansing for “Junior Day.”

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I was a Michigan State guy, so I was overly excited, and then I got there… we had the photo shoot and then I got to talk to coach Rossi in person. We talked about stuff… and then I got to do that same was able to talk to Coach Smith that day.”

White attended Orchard Lake St. Mary’s state basketball championship at the Breslin Center in March. It was there that he reconnected with Smith and Rossi.

In April, White attended spring training.

“When I got there … I felt like I had known (the players) for years,” he said. “That played a big role. So then I was in the middle of spring ball practice, I felt everything, I just looked around, picked up my phone and texted my (high school) head coach and I was like, ‘I want to go here. ‘ And he said, ‘Do you want to go there?’, and I said, ‘Yes, let’s make it happen.’

“(I) got pulled into Coach Rossi’s office later that day and we started talking about defense and stuff like that, and then he said, ‘What can we do to get you on the boat?’ and I said, ‘Coach, I’m already on the boat, we just got to start rowing this thing.'”

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