Lawrence White’s connection to Iowa State begins and ends with its leading tackler.
That’s right. White — a member of the class of 2016 — is a cousin of Cyclones’ star safety Kamari Cotton-Moya.
“We have a really tight bond,” said White, who announced on Twitter Monday night that he’d verbally committed to ISU coach Paul Rhoads’s program. “His mom and my mom talk all the time.”
The Bakersfield, Calif., athlete who projects as a defensive back has another tie to the Cyclones, as well.
“(True freshman running back) Sheldon (Croney) and I go back to junior high playing on the same basketball team,” said White, a 6-1, 170-pound three-star recruit according to rivals.com. “He went to a different high school than me, but he came back his senior year and my junior year we got really close. Me and Sheldon, we’re really tight. I talk to him almost every other day.”
White said he’s related to Cotton-Moya on his father’s side, via grandparents.
“It goes back a while,” White said.
Cotton-Moya created a splash last season, earning Big 12 freshman defensive player of the year honors.
White officially visited ISU for the Iowa game. He saw the crowd of 61,500 for a football team trying to turn things around and his decision was almost fully formed by that point.
“They lost in a close one and the way they reacted to it: of course they were kind-of down about it but they said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get this thing right,’” White said. “And everybody was on the same page willing to do it. It really shows that they really want to win and they really want to build a winning program and I think that’s really special to have.”
White said he’d also received offers from Washington State, Colorado State and Nevada, among other schools.
“I’m just an athlete,” White said. "A playmaker trying to make plays for my team to give them the best chance to win football games. What I’m really going to focus on now is trying to put on a little bit more weight … to try to come out there and be prepared the best that I can.”
White said he’s unsure what major he’d like to pursue, but academics are important to him.
His mother is taking online classes toward a degree and he’d like to be an example for his 11-year-old sister, as well.
“Extremely close to my mom,” White said. “Just seeing the smile on her face when I told her I’d made a decision to go there; and just having the opportunity to play college ball and get my degree all for free — just seeing the smile on her face and the joy of the hard work I’ve put in really paying off was the best feeling.”
One last thing …
“My mom, she’s my rock,” White said.