When Hart alum Brady White sought the necessary paperwork from Arizona State’s athletic compliance office to contact other schools, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion he’d be transferring.
He had an affinity toward Arizona State. He got his bachelor’s degree there after all – a business communications degree – which he earned in a tidy three years.
But, as White tells it, he “just wanted to play ball.”
With Manny Wilkins, who he regards as a dear friend, seemingly entrenched in Arizona State’s starting quarterback role, it wasn’t looking like his opportunity to play would come with the Sun Devils.
So, White sought out his options shortly after returning to ASU for the spring semester on Jan. 8 and it didn’t take long to find a match.
White announced Tuesday that he’d be heading to Memphis as a graduate transfer, eligible to play immediately. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility left and has already applied for a third.
“In my personal opinion, I have an opportunity to compete for a starting job there,” White told The Signal Thursday over the phone. “I think at ASU, I would’ve had a chance to showcase myself in the spring. But Manny has done a great job and I think he’s their guy moving forward.”
White said the move had to do more with the greater opportunity for playing time, rather than the Sun Devils having a new coaching staff in place, led by former NFL head coach Herm Edwards.
While he’ll be moving across the country, there are plenty of ties between White and Memphis.
Memphis coach Mike Norvell recruited White out of Hart as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach prior to earning the job at Memphis.
“I didn’t have some big recruiting list like in high school,” White said. “I wasn’t reaching out to random schools. I evaluated places where I’d have a chance to compete for a job. Ultimately, it boiled down to a few schools but I’m really excited to be reunited with Coach Norvell.”
Memphis quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham worked as an offensive assistant at ASU before joining Norvell’s staff last season.
“That familiarity definitely helped get the ball rolling with them,” White said.
White entered ASU as its highest-ranked quarterback in the era of internet recruiting services. Rivals ranked him as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in his class after he threw for over 10,800 yards as a senior at Hart in 2014. ESPN ranked him at No. 8 and Scout had him at No. 10.
White redshirted his first collegiate season and gained his first start for ASU in October 2016, throwing for 179 yards and a touchdown in a win over UCLA. But he injured his right foot in the contest and didn’t record another start. He ended with four career appearances, passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
Memphis finished 10-3 last season and ranked No. 25 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll. But the Tigers lost quarterback Riley Ferguson to graduation. They currently have five quarterbacks on scholarship, including White.
White has already arrived at Memphis, working within the team’s offseason conditioning program. The Tigers’ first spring practice is set for March 17.
“This definitely all happened at a pretty fast rate, but I think that had more to do with me being a graduate transfer, and not a high-school recruit,” White said. “I was very straightforward with schools and thankfully they were really honest with me.
“I’m just excited to get the ball rolling.”