During the new episode of The Marty Smith Podcast, our host spoke with Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White about his life and career in the NFL. However, since Marty covers SEC football for ESPN, you knew they’d chat about White’s beloved LSU Tigers as well.
The All-Pro linebacker has already made his mark on the NFL heading into just his fourth season in 2022. White has already earned a Pro Bowl selection, is a captain of the Bucs’ defense, and won Super Bowl LV in just his second year. Yet it was his performances while playing college football in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that made him a standout NFL prospect. The linebacker has been a beast for years now, and that’s why the Bucs selected White fifth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
White credits LSU and playing against SEC competition as to why he was NFL ready out of the gate. He thinks playing at LSU gave him a bit of a head start as he transitioned to the league and made an instant impact. Of course, the biggest news surrounding the Tigers heading into the new season is the addition of new head coach Brian Kelly. After spending the last 12 years with Notre Dame, Kelly headed south to Cajun country. The host of The Marty Smith Podcast wanted to know Devin White’s opinion on the hire. So he asked White about Kelly’s potential as LSU’s head coach.
“I think the potential for Brian Kelly is very high,” Devin White explained on the podcast. “Just taking the magnitude of a school such as Notre Dame, not taking nothing away from them but they’re not LSU. But they were always in the big games. To be able to still take talent that’s not SEC talent in my opinion and make it to the big games says a lot about the guy who is overhead of the program, which is Brian Kelly. So I mean the sky’s the limit in my eyes for him.”
Devin White Shares the Importance of Brian Kelly Embracing LSU on ‘The Marty Smith Podcast’
Devin White knows Brian Kelly has a stellar track record as a college football head coach. He also knows better than most that the SEC is a different beast altogether. There’s no denying that the Tigers will have a much tougher schedule than the Fighting Irish. However, White says if Kelly embraces Baton Rouge and the players embrace Kelly, great things are in store for LSU.
“It’s always going to be harder to do it in that conference they’re in now, which is the SEC. But he’s at the right school to do it,” White shared on The Marty Smith Podcast. “I feel like he can get a lot of talent. But I think the thing is, to be able to get over the hump and stay over the hump is he’s got to be LSU through and through. And players gotta want to give their all for him… man, it’s a different type of love down there. Once they feel it and they’re winnin’ and everything is goin’ the way they want it to go, I think the sky’s the limit for ’em.”
As White continued to talk about LSU, he shared what makes former players’ relationships with the university unique. The school has created a culture around the football program. You’re not just an LSU Tiger for three or four years while enrolled at the university. Players become part of a larger family in Baton Rouge. That’s why they often come back to support the school on and off the football field.
“LSU, they’re gonna try to always put themselves in the best position to win,” White added. “I think that’s the only thing that matters. That’s why the NFL veterans are always going back [to Baton Rouge]… it just shows how much everyone wanna see Louisiana succeed. Whether you’re playing in Louisiana still or playing with another team in the NFL. You’re always gonna want to see LSU do good.”
Make sure to check out Devin White’s entire interview on The Marty Smith Podcast in the link below. You can also tune in to his full conversation on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.