Oct. 12, 2010
By Monica Caday, Seminoles.com
Markus White, a senior defensive end, is the elder statesman of Florida State’s defensive front and the Seminoles’ top returnee with 10 ½ tackles for loss last season. An extrovert by nature, White likes stepping from the shadows to serve as a leader and mentor. When he’s not on the field, in the classroom, or interning in the FSU Sports Information office, you’ll find him gaming on his Xbox 360 or hunting up a basketball game.
Q: What did you like most about growing up in West Palm Beach
MW: Where I grew up there’s a lot of community-type things. It was a recreational place. We played basketball all the time and that was one of the main things I liked. I walked to and from school; that’s how close it was. And I used to walk to the basketball court. I liked the fact that everybody in that area would do the same things I like to do.
Q: What basketball position do you play?
MW: I’m 6-4, but I always tended to be bigger than everybody so they always made me play the center or whatever. I wanted to play the shooting guard, but that never happened.
Q: Besides basketball, what do you do in your spare time?
MW: I play video games. I like to relax; I like to hang out with my friends. That’s how we kind of hang out, by playing games together. Growing up, we hung out at the house, watched TV and played video games. In high school, we would probably sit on the porch doing nothing, enjoying the fresh air.
Q: What video games do you like to play?
MW: NCAA, that’s my main game. I like Grand Theft Auto. I have a lot of games; I have a variety of games. I have a lot of good basketball games. I have a collection. I moved up from PS2 finally, and got an Xbox 360 since I got here. Thank goodness.
Q: What are you most looking forward to accomplishing this season?
MW: Just making a name for myself. I like the fact that there’s not too much pressure put on me as a big star. I like the underdog thing that’s going on. I just like to open eyes; that’s what I did in junior college. There’s nothing wrong with doing it again.
Q: What’s different about the defense this year compared to previous years, especially last year?
MW: Personally, being in this new defense gives me a chance to be a vocal leader. I’m a senior. I know just as much as the next person beside me. I’m not a newcomer; I came in here as a sophomore, so I couldn’t really tell people above me what to do because they’d been in the system a lot longer than me. So I feel like I have the opportunity to communicate a lot more, but I know just as much as they know and we learned the same thing and the same processes at the same time. It’s not the fact that we have a new defense that makes it better. I was coached one style for one defense, and no I’m being coached in another style. I get to evaluate the differences between each of them and learn why I was doing things in each scheme. I can compare them and (recognize) a lot more stuff.
Q: What’s it like to be the only starting senior on the defensive line?
MW: The whole line needs a leader and they come to me pretty much.
Q: Have you stepped up to that role?
MW: Oh yeah. In the past experiences in high school, I would always want to be that guy to break down the huddles and I did it. When I played in junior college, same thing. Once I became accustomed to the school and I ended up getting a starting spot, maybe by midseason (in 2008) people started respecting me and I was able to communicate to them and they would listen to me. I’ve been a mentor a couple of times for incoming freshmen, and they seem to ask me questions that they probably wouldn’t ask everybody. SO I feel like I’ve taken that role on and off the field, and I like it. I like to help people out and I like to be a vocal leader.
Q: Why did you decide to intern with the Florida State Sports Information office?
MW: Growing up I always liked the highlight films; they always seemed cool to me. I like effects. I kind of wanted to edit videos myself or learn how to edit them. I have done some editing of my own in the past, but I feel like it takes good, quality time and I’ve never had time to sit down and do it. I made a highlight of myself from the spring they gave us highlights of spring overall, so I chopped up some plays and repeated them and added effects. But I wanted to learn how they do it from this standpoint. And whenever you see ESPN, they go to commercial breaks and throw highlights up. I could picture myself doing that one day.
Q: If you had an entire day with no meetings, practice or film, what would you do?
MW: I’d probably start off sleeping until about noon. Then I’d probably getting something like unhealthy to eat, like Taco Bell. I’d get something like Taco Bell because I’ve heard that their meat is graded lower than dog food. It tastes good. And it’s legal. I’d probably get some of that and go to the basketball court. That’s my hobby and I haven’t played in so long. That’s what I do to get away from everything. Basically I’m in another world and I get to meet so many people and be able to network at the courts. I always try to keep it on the down low that I play football or else they’ll play me different. So waking up late, getting some fast food, going to the basketball court and playing until my legs are tired, go home and finish it off with some Xbox or just relax.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years after football and college?
MW: I told some people I want to be a camera man. Hopefully my NFL career works out, but after that I want to be a camera man for the NBA. That’s something I really want to do, so hopefully Lebron James is still playing. I want to be on the sidelines fro the NBA. I don’t know what they get paid but I think it would be fun living that life.
Q: What is your football philosophy?
MW: It’s kind of basic, but “Never Give Up.” There’s stuff that always doesn’t go my way, like you think you’re doing great but then you get hit in the ribs or you’re really tired. So just never give up and I like to lead by example. I’m a senior and if I do give up, it will affect the next person beside me. It’s as basic as it gets, but it’s as true as it gets too.
Q: Growing up who was your hero and inspiration?
MW: My father is an inspiration to me because he’s my number one fan. He’s on his way here no actually; he makes sure he comes to every sport and game possible. Growing up, he cared about every single thing I did. He put me in baseball when I was about eight; he never missed a practice. And I was horrible at baseball. He put me in flag football and he ended up being coach’s assistant just because he came to every practice. That’s what motivates me. It seems like he looks up to me, but I look up to him. He inspires me to do what I do. I had a problem where I ended up going to junior college, and I didn’t qualify completely out of high school. I could’ve just gotten a job. But my father didn’t have to tell me that he wanted to be on the sidelines one day watching his son. But I figured he did, so it keeps me going and going. And hopefully one day I can further this as a career.