The Lions picked up Lakeside defensive standout Kendall White, who helped anchor the Panther defense. White is part of a class of eight players who signed with Paine, which will play in Division II in the fall.
Lions coach Greg Ruffin said he’s possibly adding four more local players in the near future.
Along with the 6-foot-2, 220-pound White, Paine signed linebacker Akil Anderson (5-10, 230) of Miami, defensive end Jason Collins, Jr., (6-2, 250) of New Iberia, La., linebacker Kendrick Fountain (5-10, 220) of Miami, offensive lineman Gregg Munford (6-3, 350) of Sicklerville, N.J., kicker Wisdom Nzidee (5-11, 180) of Stone Mountain, Ga., quarterback/wide receiver Lance Savage (6-1, 190) of Aurora, Colo. and cornerback Erick Wright (6-0, 160) of Sumter, S.C.
With more than 100 returning players in his program, Ruffin said he was selective about who he signed. And with the addition of White, Ruffin said he’s expecting an immediate contribution.
“We feel like he gives us that impact on the defensive side of the ball,” said Ruffin, whose team starts spring practice in a month. “He’s fast. He’s strong. This kid is good.”
White verbally committed to Western Carolina in the fall, but he said things didn’t click between the two parties. In the week leading up to the inaugural Border Bowl – a contest that featured Augusta-area seniors from Georgia and South Carolina – in January, Ruffin offered White. Then, White rewarded his soon-to-be college coach with an outstanding performance. White recovered two fumbles, scoring on one of them, en route to being named the Georgia Defensive Player of the Game.
“I think that was one of the best games I’ve ever played,” White said. “It was just the excitement of playing for my state and coming together as a whole unit.”