BY CLAY BRYCE | Ball State Sports Link
Determination and hard work push many people to reach their desires. For Jacob White, this is the case.
The redshirt senior has been one of the defensive centerpieces for the Ball State Cardinals this season.
White, who is currently third in the nation with 47 tackles through four games, has amplified the defense of the Cardinals. Even after having a bye week, White remains top in the nation.
With the numbers White has been producing, one would assume there is some secret formula he is using.
The Cardinals hit the road Saturday to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies, prompting the question of what does Inside linebacker Jacob White do to get dialed in?
Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019:
Waking up in Dekalb, Illinois with teammate Brandon Martin, Jacob White heads to the shower early in the morning. Once he is dried off and clean, he heads to get his body warmed up and moving early. He goes through movements focusing on rolling, trigger pointing and some ladder work to loosen up.
Once White runs through his drills to get his body going, he heads to the linebacker position meeting. Starting it off early in the morning, White continues to feed his brain food to capitalize later on the field.
When 10 a.m. rolls around, it’s time to feed the body.
“We have really good food when we stay in hotels,” White said. “It’s hash browns, eggs, maybe a little bit of pasta for some carbs, either green beans or a salad.”
After the food has been devoured, the team has some time to relax and stretch out. For White, he prefers to have some time to himself.
“I like to calm myself down, listen to some music, take some deep-deep breaths, visualize myself being successful on the field, and doing my job.”
12 p.m. arrives and it is time for the team to meet up to discuss the game plan. Each coach gives their spiel, then a hype video is played for the team to put them in the right mindset.
Once the team meeting is over, it is time to load the bus. White has a seat to himself near the back and listens to music. The environment of the bus is serious.
“It is pretty much dead silent. There’s not really any eating or joking around or anything like that. Everyone is kind of getting into that mindset that hey, we’re about to go to war.”
When it comes to the music that gets White in the mood to “go to war”, it comes in different varieties. It ranges from country to rap, but the two songs that seep through the headphones are “Roses” and “Buy That Man a Beer” by Benny Blanco and Riley Green, respectively.
“I have the same songs play, just so I know, mentally-subconsciously, once I hear that, I know it done. It’s time to go.”
1:30 p.m. White loads off the bus and immediately goes to the trainers to get tapped.
“The first thing I go to do is to get taped. I get my ankles and my back taped.” White explains. “It’s a little long for sure. It’s good to loosen up the tape and kind of get into the motion.”
Once he is all tapped up, he heads to Coach Gilbert to get stretched out. White is in a constant battle to make sure his body is in its pinnacle before the game commences.
After a quick snack to regain some energy, White heads to the field in full pads to practice with the long snappers.
After getting some field goal reps in, White heads back to the locker room. He guides himself to his locker. Teammates Brandon Martin and Riley Miller sit to his left while Bryce Cosby and Danny Turner are positioned to his right.
What company to have before game time.
During this time in the locker room,White loosens up his body some more. He rolls out with foam rollers and uses a trigger point ball to get deep in the tissue to relax it. While he is doing all of this, he keeps the music in his ears to maintain his energy.
Time to hit the field for the full team warm up. While White runs through his pregame drills, he is rehashing everything that Coach Dougherty says to the players.
“Everything we do has to be with urgency, everything’s got to be an emergency.”
While going through drills, White is focusing on what he needs to do to be successful. He plays on a higher level of physicality than most. He knows his position and tries to be the best teammate he can be.
“I know I have a certain job responsibility,” White said. “It’s pretty much the only thing I think of. I don’t think about statistics when I play. That’s a terrible mindset. I have to do my job. If there’s a place for me to make it, then I’ll make it. I have to play with the frame of the defense. If everyone does that, then that’s how we make big plays.”
When the team is done and the clock is ticking down, it is almost time to initiate the game. The team is back in the locker room. White is rehashing through everything he needs to do when he takes the field.
White wants another taste of a win.
“After a win when we go in the locker room. There’s no feeling like it. I can’t even describe it.”
He is finally on the field staring down opposing quarterback Ross Bowers for the first snap of the game. In this moment, Jacob White is dialed in.