Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Q & A with Jonathan White

After going 2-for-4 with two RBI in Vanderbilt’s 12-4 victory over Lipscomb Wednesday night, redshirt junior Jonathan White took some time to talk with The Sports VU about a number of topics, including his at-bat music and the growth of the Commodore program.

Q: How do you guys get up for a cold, dreary, midweek game like this?
A: As soon as you strap it on, it’s just like playing Alabama, just like playing Tennessee. We just come out here every day and never underestimate our opponent.

Q: Thoughts on how today’s game went?
A: We played pretty sloppy and made a lot of mistakes out there, but fortunately we got the win and that’s all that matters. We’ll just work to get better tomorrow.

Q: How have you seen the program grow over the course of your four years here?
A: It’s just grown exponentially since I’ve been here. Coming we didn’t have many people in the stands, maybe like 12 people, and now I look up and we’ve got diehards cheering us on every game.

Q: You were drafted by the Brewers in the 24th round of last year’s MLB Draft. Was it a tough decision to come back?
A: It wasn’t really that tough. I knew I wanted to come back and be with my guys at least one more year. It wasn’t any life-changing (amount of money) and I wasn’t focused on trying to sign. I was focused on trying to help us win a championship.

Q: Your at-bat music is Rocco’s hot song, “Umma Do Me.” What’s the rationale behind that?
A: In the beginning of the season, I just wanted to come out here and get some respect. Hopefully teams wouldn’t see me just as a non-factor, but I want to change it up now to something more team oriented because I don’t really like the connotations (that come with the song).

Q: What are you thinking about changing it to?
A: I love hip-hop so I thought about coming out to “Public Service Announcement” by Jay-Z. I’m still just thinking. I have a test coming up so I can’t put too much thought into it.

Q: Being from Tennessee, were you a Vandy fan growing up?
A: Where I’m from (Shelbyville, Tenn.), Vanderbilt isn’t even on the radar. It’s MTSU, it’s UT, it’s little schools around the area. If I told people from my hometown that I went to Vanderbilt, they’d be like, “What’s that?”

Q: What players did you watch growing up?
A: I loved watching Griffey, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas. And the Braves were my team.

Q: What’s it like playing for Coach Corbin?
A: He’s an intense guy, but once you get to know him, he can be loose and he can play with you. You’ve just got to have thick skin because he loves every one of his players, but if you do something wrong, he’s going to tell you about it. And then he’ll hug you right after and say, “I love you, man.”

Q: Would you say last year’s regional was the highlight of your career so far?
A: Definitely. The atmosphere was just crazy. I still get chills just thinking about all those people cheering us on. I wasn’t starting then, but I would come out in the ninth to run bases. I’d be standing on second base and it was just mind-blowing to see all the fans.

Q: What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
A: I’m really kind of a stay-to-myself person, like to chill and relax, pretty laid back, humbled, and I’m kind of weird.

Q: Weird in what way?
A: I’ve taken a wide variety of classes here at Vanderbilt, from Shakespeare to poetry to Managerial Studies. I take stuff that I’m interested, not stuff that people would say are easy classes like a lot of athletes. I want to expand my knowledge I guess.

Q: Would you say you’re the fastest player on the team? Have you been clocked from home to first?
A: Oh yeah. Hopefully it’s a sub-4 (seconds) because that’s what I always aim for. If not, I’ve got to work on that.

Q: How do you think the men’s basketball team is going to do this weekend?
A: I hope we win man. They may not win it all, but I want to see Vanderbilt on the map.

Q: Play basketball growing up?
A: I love basketball. I played football and basketball growing up, but baseball was always my first love.

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