Blazing a different trail was the priority for Kayin White.
The chance to follow a legend was something Terry Sullivan couldn’t pass up.
With those parameters in place, both running backs announced their college choices Sunday.
White, of Parkview Baptist, picked Louisiana-Monroe during a weekend visit to the school. Zachary’s Sullivan posted a photo of himself next to a photo of the legendary Walter Payton. He’s bound for Jackson State.
PBS and ZHS also had one other player commit. Parkview offensive lineman Grant Kerstens committed to Army, and Zachary tight end/deep snapper Cameron Carrier committed to Nicholls State.
Another Zachary player, wide receiver Doug Coleman, opted to flip his commitment, changing his pledge from Tulane to Texas Tech on Sunday night.
“When I came for the visit, I really wasn’t sure,” White said. “Once I got here and saw the facilities, talked to the coaches and some of the academic administrators, pretty soon I knew this was right for me.
“Coach (Matt) Viator really wants to build this program back up, and he’s never had a losing season. Being part of the first class he’s bringing in, I think I’ll get the chance to play right away.”
White (5-foot-10, 215 pounds) ran for 949 yards and 14 touchdowns while helping the Eagles win the Division II select state title this season.
Sullivan (6-0, 220) finished with 1,521 yards and 18 touchdowns for Class 5A nonselect state champion Zachary.
Below the two pictures in his tweet, Sullivan said, “Blessed with the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the great Walter Payton — Jackson State, shut’em down.”
White also had offers from Southern Miss, Navy, Army, Jackson State and Southern. The son of former LSU star Lyman White also had a preferred walk-on offer from LSU that he seriously considered.
Kerstens (6-2, 275) committed to Army during a weekend visit to West Point.
He said academics played a pivotal role in his decision. He also had offers from Dartmouth, Grambling, Stephen F. Austin, Southeastern and Navy.
“I based my decision on academics,” Kerstens said. “I want to major in engineering, and Army has one of the top engineering programs in the country. And I think the football program is going to continue to get better. Just the contacts and the experiences I’ll get will help prepare me for the rest of my life. And the campus is beautiful.”
Carrier also had offers from Grambling and Jackson State.
“They made me feel at home, and I do feel at home there,” he said of his experience in Thibodaux. “I like the fact that it’s close to home. I love Louisiana and didn’t want to leave. Plus I like the direction the program is going in. The coaches are good people my parents already knew, and that’s important, too.”
Coleman committed to Tulane last week after a visit but changed his commitment to Texas Tech after visiting Lubbock this weekend.
Coleman posed for photos in a TTU uniform in a tweet, and the accompanying text read, “I appreciate the support and acceptance Tulane coaches and fans have shown me through the recruiting process. I know Tulane will do great things this upcoming season, but I will be decommitting from Tulane ... and changing my commitment to Texas Tech. #GunsUp.”