Trinity's Ryan White Commits To Vanderbilt

We officially have a problem.

Trinity standout and former Louisville commit Ryan White has had a change of heart and committed to Vanderbilt.

The four-star cornerback pledged his allegiance to Charlie Strong and company in late February, but had backed off his commitment in recent weeks. Vanderbilt emerged as a major player in June, with the allure of playing in the SEC reportedly being their biggest asset.

White, who is ranked as the 15th best cornerback in the country by Scout, also holds offers from Michigan, Arkansas, Illinois and Kentucky, among others.

Despite opponents consistently opting to throw away from him, White made 44 tackles (6.5 for a loss), had one interception and 12 pass breakups as a second-year starter for the USA Today national champions in 2011. He also returned 29 punts for 533 yards and three TDs, the longest 88 yards.

At the time of his commitment, White seemed to be about as solid a verbal as there can be in major college football recruiting.

"The coaches are amazing and it just seemed like they are building something special," White said about Louisville at the time of his commitment." I think they are on the rise and I wanted to be a part of that with their coaching staff. It's only going to get better."

He also promised to help with the recruitment of fellow Trinity stars Jason Hatcher and James Quick.

"I am going to try and get James and Jason to come with me," White said. "I'll try to talk to them. I'll become a recruiter."

Hatcher has since committed to USC and Quick has gone from listing Louisville as his undisputed leader to saying the Cards are now even with Ohio State.

The loss of White on its own is a major blow. I've been pretty open about the fact that he is one of my favorite players to come out of this area in a long time. Coaches both at Trinity and around Louisville have had nothing but the highest praise for him over the past two years.

Still, it's the downward trend in U of L's overall recruiting that is undoubtedly the major story here.

I don't think there's any question now that the Cardinal staff has been telling recruits that the move to the Big 12 may not be as imminent as once thought. The result is several players going from locked in commits to soft verbals, and now a couple of guys actually pledging their allegiance elsewhere.

Charlie Strong made it a point last spring to state that for this program to take that step to the next level it has to convince the top local talent to stay home. Well, the area has been blessed with arguably the best high school team in the country, and now two of that team's three best players have opted to take their talents out-of-state. USC you can live with, but Vanderbilt? I'm not sure there could be a bigger red flag.

I don't know if there's a quick fix available in this situation, but I do know that James Quick just became one of the most important recruits in the history of Cardinal football (if he wasn't already). U of L has momentum on its side, but by no means is it in a position where it can absorb hit like having a dud recruiting class without taking a monster step backwards.

As far as the future of this program is concerned, these next six months - both on and off the field - could not be more crucial.

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