Dothan (Ala.) Northview has one of the top prospects in the state in Marquez White on its roster, but Friday night – it was all about the team's accomplishment. The Cougars were able to edge Foley (Ala.) High 41-39 en route to clinching a playoff berth for the first time in over a decade.
Most viewed the game as an upset, but not the players involved in the win – particularly White, the team's captain.
"We were supposed to win," said the defensive back. "Like coach said, we're late bloomers. Most teams reach their peak in the first few games…but we are now and we'll probably go undefeated for the rest of the season and make some noise in the playoffs."
The team effort was needed in all three phases, but it was a defensive stop on a two-point conversion that sealed the deal. White was in on the coverage against the attempt, mustering all he could despite playing the entire game with the flu.
"I was sick the whole game, I couldn't even drink," he added. "My eyes were bothering me…it was tough. I felt it especially when I was trying to get my reads…"
White was tasked with leading his team on the all-important night, but his primary focus during the game was Foley's Demarcus Bingham. The 2014 wideout was shadowed by White throughout the game, and each player had his fair share of wins in a wild game.
"He's going to be good, he's the next Julio (Jones)," said White of Bingham. "He caught a dig route on me and pushed me….I was like ‘woah.' He's strong; he's going to be ‘it.'"
Bingham ended up with a trio of catches and a touchdown on the evening. White got the last laugh in the end, something several big-time programs are trying to accomplish as the Florida State commitment's senior season progresses. Alabama remains in hot pursuit, as does Tennessee and others.
But it's the school the three-star is committed to and the in-state power that are currently atop his list.
"It's FSU-‘Bama (at this point)," he said. "‘Bama's still strong, I love them too. It's going to be crazy with my decision."
Said decision will be a calculated one after careful consideration while on official visits. The trips will most likely take place after Northview's season is complete.
"I'll take officials to Alabama, FSU and UT (Tennessee)," said White. "I may go to Auburn and Indiana; I want to take all five officials.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder won't make any big decisions any time soon. "I want to focus on the rest of the season."
In the meantime, it's the Seminoles remain ahead of the game because of a combination of initial love for the program and the way the staff has recruited him.
"I fell in love when I was little," he admitted. "The Seminole chop, the man on the stallion before the game…everything about it. "
For the rest of the schools in pursuit, how will they make up ground?
Said White, "I don't really know, I'm just praying and asking God to lead me. I'm real family oriented, so whatever they like I like.
"I don't want to rush it or anything, I want to make sure what I do will be the best decision for me and my family."
Marquez White committed to Florida State in May, and Alabama offered him in June. Since that dynamic presented itself, there has been plenty of speculation about what may happen leading up to signing day. As official visit-season nears, the talented defensive back sheds some light on the decision ahead.