Why Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Devin White is glad he missed NIL era as LSU football star
Devin White hasn’t changed much physically or personally since his playing days at North Webster High School in Springhill.
He still portrays the laid back, country boy persona that made him popular in his high school, at LSU and now as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker.
White was in Shreveport on Thursday afternoon at the Academy Sports + Outdoors store on Bert Kouns doling out $1,500 worth of merchandise to 10 athletes coached by Shreveport police department officers in the Pop Warner League. Not only did the 10 receive $150 each to shop with, they were able to meet arguably the best linebacker north Louisiana has produced.
Not surprisingly, White was all smiles as he bounced a basketball around the shopping area, chatting with the youngsters and posing for photos with the officers and store employees. Now the owner of a Super Bowl ring after earning multiple accolades at LSU, White said Thursday he’s glad he was able to bypass the NIL-era exploding at the college level.
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“I think I would have had one of the biggest being the big-time recruit I was, and being an in-state guy,” White said. “I really don’t follow the NIL to know what it’s based off of. But with my popularity and likability, I think I would’ve gotten a nice deal. I’m past the era and I’m glad I’m past the era, because to me, money’s not everything. I really enjoyed my years at LSU and none of it was based off money. It was about the love for the school and playing the sport I love.
“I worked hard and made it to the NFL and made some money. Hopefully, gonna make a bunch more money by playing the game I love and keeping the main thing the main thing.”
White said the event at Academy Sports was about setting a positive example and giving the kids positive motivation. Most of the kids at Academy Sports knew White is a northwest Louisiana native and have had the opportunity to see him play in the Super Bowl.
“My head stays straight. I know my goals, I know my focus and my priorities in life,” White said. “It’s good to put a face with a name rather than just a face in the work.”
White never imagined during his prep days that he would be in the position he was in Thursday.
“I wasn’t thinking that far ahead, but I was always the guy who embraced younger kids and I had the clout I had. I was always signing autographs when it wasn’t worth nothing,” White said. “Now, my signature is my main thing. But you do have to have a vision and my vision has always been the same – to stay true to myself and be a positive impact to others.”
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.
This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: LSU football: Devin White, Tampa Bay LB, glad he missed NIL era