Football: Cherokee Trail’s Evan White verbally commits to Colorado

Cougars star safety plans to follow cousin Billingsley's path to Boulder

By COURTNEY OAKES, Sports Editor
Cherokee Trail's Evan White
Cherokee Trail safety Evan White (3) gave his verbal commitment to the University of Colorado on July 7, 2013. White led Aurora players with seven interceptions last season as a junior and also recorded 80 tackles for the Cougars, who made it to the Class 5A state championship game. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | The city’s biggest hitter is headed to Boulder.

Cherokee Trail star safety Evan White announced via his Twitter account on Sunday that he intends to sign with the University of Colorado.

The 6-foot-2, 192-pounder led all Aurora players with seven interceptions last season, recorded 80 tackles and forced offenses to know where he was on every play. He’d attended camps at Division I programs all over the country, but in the end, he felt best about playing for the same school as his cousin — former Eaglecrest star J.J. Billingsley — did from 2002-2006.

“‘I’ve been to a bunch of camps since the end of my sophomore year trying to get a feel for all these colleges, and CU came out to be the strongest in my opinion,” White said shortly after his announcement.

“All the coaches at CU gave me a whole lot of love, my family is out here and my cousin went there. My family is really excited, they wanted me to stay here.”

The commitment of White — an All-City and All-Colorado safety — is the eighth for the Class of 2014 thus far for new Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre, who has also added Silver Creek offensive lineman Isaac Miller from the state ranks.

College coaches can’t official comment on recruits until they have signed. The national athletic letter of intent signing day for football is Feb. 4, 2014.

Cherokee Trail football coach Monte Thelen was excited about White’s commitment, which joins Kendall Gregory-McGhee’s signing with Minnesota in 2009 as among the biggest highlights for a program that’s just over a decade old.

“Evan’s a great kid, so we’re really proud of him and happy for him in this decision,” Thelen said. “Evan is a dynamic player in that he can make plays at the line of scrimmage and he can also make plays 40 yards down the field. That’s a testament to the type of athlete Evan is, the speed in which he plays the game and that our coaches get him in positions to make plays at the line of scrimmage or 40 yards down the field.”

White is the first player from an Aurora school to commit to the University of Colorado since Rangeview’s Maurice Lucas in 2005 and Thelen said the fact that MacIntyre and two Buffs assistants had spent significant time in the building made a big difference.

“The new staff at Colorado is investing a great deal of time and visibility into recruiting local players and it made an impact on Evan,” he said.

White said he hopes to add a few more pounds before the start of the season and also improve his footwork and quickness. Helping with that, he ran a leg on the Cherokee Trail 4×200 meter relay team that won the state championship at the 5A state track meet in May and he also was a regular on the Cherokee Trail basketball team that won the Centennial League championship in the winter.

“I just want to be a better football player, but I know I can be better with my footwork,” White said. “I know to play Division I football, I need to be a whole lot faster and I need to make a whole lot more plays.”

White is the first known Aurora football player from the class of 2014 to commit to a Division I program thus far. Last season’s group of D-I signees included Gateway’s Zack Golditch (Colorado State), Grandview’s Tanner Gentry and Eaglecrest’s Xavier Lewis (Wyoming), Grandview’s Christian Backes (Northern Colorado) and Regis Jesuit’s Antonio Broadus (Indiana State) and Connor Warren (University of Richmond).

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at sports@aurorasentinel.com or 303-750-7555

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