Malvern Prep played only four football matches in 2020.
These four competitions – all victories for Friars – were more than enough for a transcendent talent like Lonnie White, who proved that it is more about quality than quantity.
White carried the ball only seven times a year, a total of 95 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 17 assists for 364 yards and four touchdowns. And on the other side of the ball, White intercepted three passes in just four games.
But White is a rare athlete who stands out, no matter how much time he spends on the court. And even in a short year, Malvern Preps Lonnie White did more than enough to earn the title of Daily Local News All-Area Football Player of the Year.
“Lonnie is a once-in-a-generation talent and an electrifying athlete who makes it hard to look easy,” said Malvern Prep coach Dave Gueriera. “His legacy at Malvern Prep will be written as a humble superstar who excelled at the highest level in everything he did.”
What makes White even more special is his versatility. In addition to being a special football player committed to playing next fall in Penn State, White is also projected to be a first-round draft pick in the June Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
Considered one of the best young baseball players in the country, Malvern Prep senior said he tries not to think of any big decision that may lie in his future.
“I’m really not thinking about playing baseball when I go to Penn State,” said White. “I always loved Penn State growing up, and they gave me the chance to hold my pads so we could see what happens. I do not need the pressure to make a decision right now. We’ll see what happens, and right now I’m just trying to enjoy the elderly [baseball] season. Those things come in good time. ”
During his sophomore year at Malvern, White made a verbal commitment to Clemson to play baseball. But last year, White reversed the course and committed to a football scholarship in Penn State, where Nittany Lion coaches said he could also play baseball. Now he will probably have to make the big decision to play college football (and maybe baseball), or dive straight into professional baseball after the draft.
On the diamond, White is an outfielder who hits with power and has enormous speed. But it has been a while since he has proven himself on the field, after the 2020 baseball season was wiped out by COVID-19.
“I tell people how rare it is when the most talented player is also your most trainable player,” Hilliard said. “But that’s definitely the way it is to train Lonnie White. He does things in training or in games almost every day that wow us all coaches, yet he is one of the most humble and hardworking kids I have ever been around. He supports his teammates and loves to be trained, and when we teach him something, he is attentive and can usually not only pick it up, but master it quite quickly. ”
White shines on both the football and baseball fields, and is also an important part of the Malvern Prep basketball team, which won the Inter-Academic League title last year. The three-athlete says he really likes all three of his sports.
“I have no favorite sport,” White said. “I love the one I’m playing at the moment, and whatever the season, it’s the one I want to play.”
White has many opportunities for him when he leaves Malvern Prep, a school that has seen more than its fair share of talented athletes roaming its halls.
And it is the case that he is the best athlete the school has ever known.