Wanna see the quintessential “tell”? Today, Torian White, a Scout.com 4-star Offensive Tackle recruit announced on FOX Sports that he was going to USC.
Why is this a big deal? Torian originally committed verbally to UCLA. Here’s the video:
- VIDEO: Torian White announces he’s headed to USC
Putting aside any biases toward either school, this video you tells everything you need to know about how his family felt about the surprise announcement and is otherwise a case study in “facial tells”. Take a look at some key moments:
- :48 His brother Jason White cracks a grin, then slyly looks down. You can see his cheeks puff a little as Torian’s ready to pick a cap – this is a smile.
- :56 Jason looks up with obvious surprise as the FOX Sports broadcaster says the words, "You’re going to USC?". Take a close look here: Eyebrows suddenly raised. forlorn cheeks, loosened mouth muscles. The expression on Jason’s face is unmistakable: Surprise & disappointment.
- 1:26 At the biggest moment in Torian’s life to date, Jason is faced 180 degrees away and won’t even look at him. Crossed arms, he looks up suddenly at his Mom. (Who is clearly ecstatic, while his father is not. More on that later.)
- 2:00 After looking up at his Mom and saying something, he faces the camera and unconsciously shakes his head, his bottom lip pursed in pout.
…there’s a ton of other tells but you get the picture. And speaking of tells, Joe White made a comment that you can read in UCLA forums about "people pushing Torian toward USC" but didn’t disclose who those people were, but if you listen to the uncontrolled female squeal of delight at :59, and I think you’ve got your answer as to who those people were. Need more? Watch the following minute after :56 and there is only one person on camera that’s smiling, and it’s not Joe, Jason, or Torian.
(Epilogue: Later that day, Torian White changed his mind and reversed his decision. He’ll be suiting up for UCLA this fall. Go Bruins.)