Lonnie White Jr., the two-sport star from Malvern Prep who signed a letter of intent last December with Penn State and was drafted earlier this month by the Pittsburgh Pirates, has chosen baseball and signed with the Pirates.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound White will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pirates chose him in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft, the 64th pick overall.
The bonus figure was larger than expected. At the time White was drafted, MLB.com reported that his bonus slot would be $1,050,300.
“The past week has been very stressful for me,” Philly Voice quoted White as saying. “I had to follow my heart. I played baseball as a kid and I always loved the game.”
White, a four-star football player who played several positions in high school, was one of three wide receivers in Penn State’s 2021 recruiting class. He committed to head coach James Franklin in May 2020 with the assurance he’d be able to play football and baseball.
Franklin issued a statement Monday congratulating White and his parents, Reggie and Lonnie White Sr.
“Our football family is incredibly excited for you and all the Pittsburgh Pirates organization,” he said. “Again, stay present, focus on the process, and success shall be yours. Always know, we are here for you and still believe your best days in football are ahead!”
Asked about White on Thursday at Big Ten football media day, Franklin indicated the player had made a decision in recent days but then changed course. He declined to elaborate.
“For me, I just want Lonnie to be successful, and I want Lonnie to be happy,” Franklin said, “and if that means Penn State and playing football and baseball and hopefully getting his degree from Penn State, play in the NFL, and possibly major-league baseball, then awesome.
“If that means him going to play baseball right now and chasing that dream, I just want him to have all the information and be able to make an educated decision and then go from there.”
White scored seven touchdowns — three rushing, four receiving — in an abbreviated four-game football season last fall, then batted .395 with five home runs in the spring.
Florida cornerback commits
Penn State received an oral commitment from cornerback Camron Miller, of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. Rated four stars by 247Sports and three stars by Rivals, Miller received offers from Virginia Tech, Maryland, Miami, West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Rutgers. He is the 22nd player to commit to the Nittany Lions’ 2022 recruiting class.