Even though it took nearly three months from the time he decided to leave Kansas until his commitment to Nebraska on Monday, Andrew White has no regrets about being as thorough and meticulous as possible during his search for a fresh start. When all was said and done, White knows all that work eventually helped lead him to the perfect destination.
Having been courted by top programs around the country when he first announced his transfer from the Jayhawks back in May, White went into his second round of the recruiting process with a completely open mind and listened to everything that interested schools had to say. After his first official visit to Lincoln back in June, though, it quickly became clear that the Huskers had nearly everything the 6-foot-7, 220-pound junior shooting guard was looking for in his next and ultimately final stop.
"Right away I knew that I really liked the school," White told HuskerOnline.com. "Part of kind of how I handled the recruiting process, especially since I've been through it twice now, was I tried to keep a calm state of mind when I was on the visits. You're seeing all of these nice things and you're being told all these nice things, you're seeing all the bells and whistles of the university, so I didn't want to be too high on myself and too caught up in the moment when I was there. I didn't know right away that Nebraska would be the place I'd go, but I knew that I liked what I saw.
"I knew since I couldn't afford to make a wrong decision this time around, I really wanted to make sure I had all my facts and information lined up properly before I made my decision. I didn't know it would take this long, but I kind of like how I handled the process because Nebraska was one of the first teams to come calling and they were one of the last programs to hold on and keep their faith in me. So that ended up being a good tool in my recruiting."
The Richmond, Va., native said location definitely played a role in his decision process, and that was one of the biggest hold-ups working against Nebraska compared to the other East Coast schools on his list. Fortunately for the Huskers, all of the other positives they had going for them were enough to make distance and easier factor to overlook.
"Location played a lot into my thought process, but not so much so that it would be a major deciding factor," White said. "It just would've been a major incentive. With the local schools that I visited and spoke with, I could see myself being able to go home on the weekends and having that time to be around my family, because I'm a big family guy. But I think the main factor in my decision was to go with the people who would provide the best relationships, the best opportunity to play and win and be a student, and I thought Nebraska was that. It was a tough decision, but it was the more important things that led me to Nebraska."
With the start of the 2014-15 fall semester quickly approaching next week, White knew his time to make a decision was running short. He admittedly may not have known much about Nebraska basketball when he first re-opened his recruitment, but after seeing the campus and meeting the coaches and players in person and gathering more and more information, it finally came to the point where he wanted to be a Husker. So on Monday morning he called up head coach Tim Miles and lead recruiter Kenya Hunter and pulled the trigger.
"I just went with my gut feeling," White said. "What really led me into the Nebraska coaching staff was they really really believed in me, and out of everybody they were the most personally invested in my success there, which is big. I think they're going to do everything in their power to make me succeed in this program. And I've always been a team-first guy, and I think this team will have the ability to win and win big, and I want to be a part of that. I want to help the team and I want to help the university. I really got along great with the guys when I was down on my visit. I think they work hard and remind me a lot of myself. Everybody buys in there, and I will too, and that's what will help this program really take off to the next level.
"Everywhere I went I went in with an open mind, because when I started the recruiting process, I didn't really have an idea of where I wanted to be just because I was still kind of in the Kansas state of mind. Nebraska was my first visit, and I didn't know a lot about Nebraska at the time. I knew little to nothing, actually. But Coach Hunter told me just to come in with an open mind and take the information in, and I believe having that open mind led me to choosing Nebraska in the end."
White said he'll likely arrive in Lincoln by sometime this weekend and begin the process of settling into his new school and city. Because he has to sit out the 2014-15 season due to NCAA transfer rules, White said his primary focus this year will be just acclimating to his new surroundings and forming bonds with his new coaches and teammates.
"I'm just ready to workout and be around my teammates and just get back in the flow of college," White said. "I've been away from school for three months, and I'm looking forward to going into a situation where I know what college is about. It's exciting to go into a program with a clean slate and be able to set a good image from the start and get this thing rolling so we can win big."