2018 AFC Playoffs

Lessons learned by White, Dorsett as high-school teammates in Florida paying off with Patriots

(Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots/Eric J. Adler)

FOXBOROUGH — When the story of the 2018 Patriots is written, there will be a chapter on the Georgia guys like David Andrews and Sony Michel. There’s going to be a lot about the Rutgers defensive backs.

And there has to be something about the duo from St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which helped provide an offensive boost for a team that needed a spark during many of the most important moments of the regular season.

Roughly a decade ago, running back James White and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett were high school teammates under the legendary George Smith at Aquinas, and prior to their individual success at the college level (and in Foxborough), both played a role in the wild success as part of Smith’s program: White was a centerpiece of Smith’s national championship team in 2008, and followed that up with one of the best seasons for any high schooler in the state of Florida the year after that.

And in 2010, Dorsett had 806 yards receiving 12 touchdowns a year later for an undefeated team that ended up winning Florida’s 5A football championship.

Dorsett told BostonSportsJournal.com that if there was one coach who could really prepare him for life under Bill Belichick, it was Smith.