Penn State football wide receiver signee Lonnie White Jr. has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, ending his collegiate eligibility and his Nittany Lion career. The news was first reported by Joseph Santoliquito of the Philly Voice. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that White will receive a $1.5 million bonus, nearly $500,000 over slot value.
White was selected by the Pirates with the No. 64 pick in the 2021 MLB Draft and will join the organization as an outfielder. He told the Philly Voice that the choice was a hard one:
“I am happy and this decision wasn’t about any type of money, it was more about the happiness of doing something I love to do, even though I still love football,” White said. “Baseball has always been in my heart. The contract is over the slot value, and it also involves my future education.”
White's decision puts a bow on what was an underwhelming 2021 recruiting cycle. He was the program's second-highest-rated signee, and one of the top receiver prospects in the nation. With Harrisburg native Nate Bruce also opting to end his football career, the Nittany Lions will enter fall camp without any of the top-15 2021 recruits in Pennsylvania on the roster.
Penn State signed two other wide receiver prospects in the class, four-star Liam Clifford and three-star Harrison Wallace.