Blue Chip countdown: MSU's White carries family torch

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Walled Lake Western's Cody White (7) breaks away from a Detroit King defender in the Division 2 state final.

The Detroit News continues its countdown of the top 15 Blue Chip recruits for 2017 with Cody White of Walled Lake Western at No. 7.

Cody White accomplished a lot during his outstanding high school career at Walled Lake Western, capping it off with a Division 2 state championship game appearance at Ford Field this past November.

White, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound three-star receiver, earned a spot on The News' Dream Team after a season in which he had 43 receptions for 705 yards and nine touchdowns to help Western reach the state title game, a loss to Detroit King.

White’s love for football came from his father, Sheldon, who played defensive back at Miami University, then six years in the NFL before working in the Lions’ front office. Cody also plays basketball and baseball.

While multiple players have already enrolled early to start taking classes and learning the playbook, White is thrilled to be signing with Michigan State next week and playing basketball with his high school teammates. He chose the Spartans over Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Boston College, Duke, Wake Forest and multiple Mid-American Conference schools.

“Michigan State just feels like the best place for me,” White said. “The campus is great. They have great coaches. They have great support for their football team and the football team has been successful.”

White played multiple positions during his senior year at Western and was forced into duty as the starting quarterback when Johnny Tracy went down with a shoulder injury prior to the season opener.

White was sensational in the opener at Michigan Stadium, throwing for 171 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for 33 yards and a touchdown in one half of work to give Western a 41-0 halftime lead over Farmington.

White’s most impressive performance may have been in a Week No. 2 comeback win at Canton when he directed a 68-yard drive in the final minutes, hooking up with Justin Thomas on a 29-yard touchdown with 37 seconds left for a 33-30 victory.

“That Canton game really stood out,” White said. “I had 150 yards passing and two touchdowns and 120 yards rushing and two touchdowns, so I felt I did a good job at quarterback in that game.”

When Tracy returned to action in mid-September, White did some damage from the receiver spot while also making it hard on opponents from his defensive back position. He still played quarterback, at times, giving Western another option out of the Wildcat formation.

“The Brighton game and Lowell game also stood out for me,” White said. “I had 130 yards receiving and three touchdowns against Brighton (in the KLAA Lakes Conference championship game), so I set the school record for receiving touchdowns in that game so that was cool.

"The Lowell game was the state semifinal game so that was important for all of us. I didn’t do a lot at the receiving end, but when they threw me in at quarterback I had two rushing touchdowns and 110 yards rushing and also a throwing touchdown, so I felt contributed and helped us get that win.”

White finished the season with 492 yards passing and nine touchdowns, and 561 yards rushing with a 10 yards per carry average.

White enjoyed the opportunity to play at Ford Field in the state title game.

“It was exciting, just the atmosphere and everything,” White said. “We had a big crowd come out. Obviously, it didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but it was fun playing on that field.”

White talked of his father’s role in his football career.

“He's helped me out a ton, just teaching me the ropes of playing football,” White said. “He’s always been there for me, guiding me, and through the recruiting process he just helped me know when to call coaches, not to call coaches and on getting my schedule together. He’s been a great help.”

No doubt, White is enjoying the final months of high school. He has helped Western to a 9-1 record in basketball, averaging 10 points and seven rebounds while hoping to earn some more championships in March.


Twitter: @DavidGoricki


No. 7: Cody White, WR, Walled Lake Western (Michigan State)

No. 8: Corey Malone-Hatcher, DE/LB, St. Joseph (Michigan)

No. 9: Jordan Reid, OT, Detroit Cass Tech (Michigan State)

No. 10: Deron Irving-Bey, DE, Flint Southwestern (Michigan)

No. 11: Phillip Paea, DT, Berrien Springs (Michigan)

No. 12: Hunter Rison, WR, Ann Arbor Skyline (Michigan State)

No. 13: JaRaymond Hall, OL, Oak Park (Michigan)

No. 14: Scott Nelson, S, U-D Jesuit (Wisconsin)

No. 15: Rodney Hall, QB, Detroit Cass Tech (Northern Illinois)