In the opening hours of free agency, the Redskins upgraded their receiver corps with speedy youngster Pierre Garçon, and drew the approval of another young player already on the team.
Outside linebacker Markus White is an old friend and teammate of Garçon’s, and actually learned a lot from the elder Floridian at John I. Leonard High School.
Back when White was entering high school (at the turn of the 21st century), he was a skilled basketball player trying to make the transition to football. Garçon was a senior tight end in the Mighty Lancers’ offense, and helped freshman tight end White make the transition to the gridiron.
“That was back before I hit my growth spurt,” explained the 6-4, 266-pound linebacker with a smile. “I was probably…170 back then, but I had pretty good hands.”
White didn’t play varsity until his junior season, after a growth spurt moved him to the defensive side of the ball. From there, he opened scouts’ eyes with a nation-leading 24.5 sacks at Butler Community College in 2007.
Physical talent and internal drive aside, White credits Garçon with helping him make the transition to football. Now that the pair are back together, White expects his mere presence to help him continue to adjust to the pro level.
“I was really excited when he signed,” he told me. “Y’know, it really motivates you to get better when you’re competing with your old teammates. I think he’ll help a lot.”
But why stop at just one former teammate?
“Y’know, we just need to get [Jets defensive tackle] Kenrick Ellis and [Ravens defensive end] Purnell McPhee to Washington, and we’ll have all of the J. I. Leonard alum in the NFL,” he said with a grin.
I think two-of-four Mighty Lancers is a good start.
Tags: kenrick ellis, markus white, Pierre Garcon, purnell mcphee, washington redskins
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