There are eight FBS programs within 200 miles of Waco, Texas. Texas Tech is not one of them In fact, it's one of the more isolated programs in the entire country.
For some, the long drive up Highway 84 to Lubbock can be a rude reminder of this isolation. For Hakeem White, he'd have it no other way.
"It's the only school in West Texas, so all the home games are expected to be packed," the three-star offensive lineman told HERO Sports after committing to the Red Raiders last week. "All the coaches that I've met were super welcoming and seemed pretty cool."
"I really like the vibe Texas Tech has. It was the best in my opinion," he said, referencing updated facilities and a strong relationship with offensive line coach Brandon Jones.
Jones, entering his first season on Kliff Kingsbury's staff, delivered a message that resonated with White. Fifteen years earlier, Jones was in a similar position, committing to Texas Tech as lineman from Dallas. He returned to his alma mater in January and has already landed four linemen in the 2018 class.
White, the first interior linemen — and he said the staff intends on keeping him inside — joins three offensive tackles, all of whom hail from Texas. He is the 15th pledge in a class that 247Sports ranks 46th nationally and seventh in the Big 12. Texas Tech has finished with a top-50 class each year of the Kingsbury era.
"I'm going to go out there and do the best I can and start working as soon as I can," he told Rivals. "The coaches said they think I should redshirt freshman year."
White will not take more visits and intends to shut down recruiting.
Here's a look at the Red Raiders' newest interior lineman: