Former Milford Mill High School and Monmouth University wide receiver Reggie White Jr. has lost count of how often he has answered the question.
"I heard so many times, especially growing up and going to school, 'Any relation?'" White told the
Fantasy and Reality Football Show
March 31. "And I'm like, 'Not the way you're thinking of.' I'm pretty used to it now."
While White, an NFL Draft prospect, is not the son of the legendary defensive lineman, his father also played in the league for four years in the 1990s. Reggie White Sr. also coached his son for four years at Milford Mill.
"It was definitely good and bad," Reggie White Jr. said of playing for his dad. "... The bad thing was -- I wouldn't necessarily say bad, but he was on me the most. People say that's your son, so he had to show that I was a regular student just like everybody else."
His father's passion and dedication to his son's future in the sport led to some heated moments on and off the field. After one game during which White scored two touchdowns, his father scolded him for losing a fumble on an interception return.
"I was sick, I was mad. I was like, 'I just scored two touchdowns, and you're talking about that?'" White said.
However, he would come to appreciate his father's relentless pressure to perfect his game.
"The little things like that allow me to just keep pushing and never be complacent. If I was running in the back of the line he got on me. Little things like that just kept pushing me to be great, and I thank him for that."
His father's passion also showed during his son's recruiting process. White only received a scholarship offer from Monmouth University coming into his senior year (Howard University offered White a scholarship after he had committed to Monmouth). White said that he remembers his dad getting into arguments with coaches from other schools who would not make an offer to him. However, White and his parents fell in love with the Monmouth program, and he spent the next four years racking up 3,373 yards for the Hawks.
Despite his success at Monmouth, White never lost the chip on his shoulder that came from being lightly recruited in high school.
"Coming into college I had a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I was overlooked a lot so I felt I had to prove myself to everybody that I belonged here and I could be an elite player at this level."
The chip on his shoulder, along with his dad's voice in his ear, led him to become a two-time All-Big South selection at wide receiver. White also set the school record for receptions in a season (74) in 2017. Still, he knew that he would need a strong showing at his pro day to put his name on the map for the upcoming NFL Draft.
He spent 10 weeks at TEST Football Academy in New Jersey, where he focused intently on improving his 40-yard dash time. A lack of speed, White said, was his main drawback coming out of high school.
"That was a big thing, [the scouts] wanted to see my 40. So that was the big thing I focused on. I wanted to prove that I could run and that I could be a top player at this level," he said.
After he ran 4.45 for scouts, teams were noticeably impressed; he has scheduled visits in the upcoming days with the Giants, Jets and, yes, the Baltimore Ravens.
"That's the team I watched growing up and the team I still love to this day, so if I got the chance to play for them it would definitely be a dream come true for me, my family and the city of Baltimore," he said when asked about how he would feel about being drafted by the Ravens, who enter the draft thin at the position.
He is not fazed by the Ravens' -- or any team's -- offensive style.
"I want to do anything for the team. If you need me to block, play special teams, whatever you need - if you need me to run out there and get the tee after the kickoff, it doesn't matter. Whatever is best for the team, I'm willing to do."
No matter where White ends up, however, he will arrive with an impressive college resumé and his signature chip upon his shoulder after his solid showing at pro day.
"... There are still things that I can work on," White said. "As long as [my father] keeps pushing me and never lets me get complacent I definitely appreciate him for that."
For more from White, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Monmouth Athletics