As far as high school senior springs go, Anthony White’s is pretty hectic.
While White’s friends in Miami spend their morning’s sleeping in, taking advantage of a free period afforded to upperclassmen with their elective credits secured, White heads to the Washington State weight room.
It is possible White’s friends have track practice after school, or perhaps they head to the beach. Maybe squeeze in some relationship drama before paths diverge.
After school, the wide receiver has a full-pads practice in the Pullman rain — temperatures are in the mid-80s in Miami this week. After that, he has more school.
“At the end of the day, I may have two hours of free time,” White said.
White gave up the most carefree months of his teenage years so he could be the small man on campus, hoping extra reps will make him a better football player.
He is one of six newcomers who enrolled in time for spring semester to participate in spring practices and speed up the acclimation process. But only White and defensive back Zaire Webb, another Florida product, are doing conditioning drills in Pullman instead of getting ready for prom.
Cornerback Isaiah Love graduated in 2016 but delayed his enrollment a year to heal from a car accident that cost him his senior season of high school football.
Defensive back Sean Harper, wide receiver Easop Winston and offensive lineman Robert Valencia all transferred from junior colleges. While the benefits to the Cougars of having players participate in 15 extra practices is obvious, none of the six players was brought in early to prepare for life on the pine.
Valencia and White were each four-star prospects, and the former is expected to make a push to start at right guard in the fall.
While blocking defensive linemen like Nnamdi Oguayo and Hercules Mata’afa for the first time presents challenges, Valencia is grateful for the familiarity of the football field.
“It’s definitely a stress reliever,” said Valencia, who played tackle for most of his career and is adjusting to playing guard. “You’ve got class and that whole part of life. You get to forget about all that when you get out on the field.”
The early-enrolled players got one last opportunity to see the easy life they could have had when they went home for spring break. White decided to dispense some wisdom to his friends, who do not yet know what awaits them at the next level of competition.
“I wanted to make sure they realized that the coaching they’re getting now, it’s pretty similar to the coaching we’re getting here,” White said. “Just play hard, play fast, take people serious. Those things translate, so just make sure they’re listening to the coaches that they have now, and make sure that translates when they go to the next level and are in the position that I am.”