Kris White photo

Kris White of Groveland South Lake has received early offers from Memphis and Kent State. (CHRIS HAYS / ORLANDO SENTINEL / May 23, 2012)

South Lake High athlete Kris White didn’t really have an agenda when it came to college football recruiting. In fact, at times he wasn’t even sure there was an agenda at all for him at the next level.

But the kid who played quarterback — and did pretty well — as a sophomore at the Groveland school has matured beyond his years. He’s played every position the South Lake coaches have wanted him to play.

The old staff of Willie Banks and company came to rely on White’s versatility, and now the staff of first-year head coach Mark Woolum has been doing the same in spring practice. He’s almost like a player without a position, but that doesn’t bother him at all.

“I grew up playing other positions rather than quarterback,” White said. “So the other positions are more of what I’m used to anyway … running the ball, catching the ball, playing defense."

And his versatility is what college coaches like about him. They figure White gives them plenty of options for which they can use the 6-foot-2, 208-pound athlete.

So far, Memphis and Kent State even like his versatility enough to offer him a college scholarship, his first two NCAA Division I-A offers. Temple has also entered the picture and White said Owls coaches told him they will offer him when he goes to Philadelphia for camp this summer.

“It feels good knowing that I can make it to the next level,” White said. “The [college coaches] actually usually ask me what position I prefer. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play wherever I can help out the team. I just want to play football. It doesn’t matter where they put me.”

When the old staff moved him from quarterback to receiver, he could have hung his head, complained. However, he handled the move positively and vowed to be the best receiver he could be. With that came more vows … to be the best running back, the best linebacker, the best safety. You get the picture.

He did well in 2010, running the show as QB to the tune of 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns, with just four interceptions. He completed nearly 60 percent of his passes (99-166) and averaged 133 yards a game. Last season, he split time at quarterback, running back and receiver, as well as at linebacker on defense.

“I wasn’t really concerned about not being quarterback,” he said. “It felt more natural for me playing other positions anyway. I’ve just kept doing whatever I’ve had to do to better myself.”

Part of that process has been taking part in 7on7 tournaments over the past two offseasons. This year he has been part of the Top Recruits Now squad, which took third place at the IMG Madden 7on7 Southeast Regional tournament and then won the Spacecoast 7on7 Challenge last month.

“It helps out a lot,” White said of playing the 7on7 circuit. “There is a lot good competition just on our team and you are going up against the best players around in our practices. You don’t usually get all that just in a regular practice at school.”

White, who projects as a college safety, said that some of his bouncing around from position to position has been to showcase his versatility to college scouts.

“I think it was a collegiate decision … more colleges prefer me at the more athletic positions,” he said. “I’ll do what it takes. Everyone wants all the offers they can get.”

Since his freshman season when he came on as a somewhat lanky 6-foot, 170-pounder, he has blossomed and 40 pounds later he said he feels a big difference in the things he can now do with his body.

“Oh yeah, for sure. I think I’ve gotten a bit faster and it just feels different compared to freshman year,” said White, who runs a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. “I definitely feel like still I’m growing and when I get in college I will still gain a few more pounds. I haven’t began to realize my full potential yet [in size and ability].”

This spring he has been used more often at running back in Woolum’s new system.

“We have a running-style offense …. a lot more simple,” White said. “It’s like you don’t have to think too much and you play fast. It’s more instinctive, instead of going to the playboard and learning new plays every night.”

 White plans to decide on a college before the season begins and his goal of graduating in December will speed up his recruiting process. He’s also talented in the classroom, where he holds a 4.1 weighted GPA and recently scored a 22 on the ACT.

“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at,” White said of his recruiting status. “I never thought I’d make it this far … to get offers. I just feel blessed and humble to have the ones that I do.”

He could have given up, frustrated by numerous position changes and tiresome of learning more and more new things. He credits his father George White and former coach Banks with the inspiration that has kept him going.

“My dad, he talks to me a lot to help keep me motivated,” White said. “When I was little he used to train me every day. At the time I didn’t like it, but I think it worked out for the best.”

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@tribune.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.