The senior fullback/linebacker inked Thursday with Anderson University, a Division III school in Anderson, Indiana. Hoffman spent one year at WHHS with 117 tackles, nine for losses, with five pass break ups and two fumbles caused. He was the second leading tackler on the team, and also carried the ball 25 times for 121 yards on offense in a stable of three successful fullbacks.
He signed at The Burr Building at White House High School with his family including parents Randall and Connie, sister Emily, and brother Austin, who will be a freshman at WHHS. Teammates Zack Escue and Chase Dunlap went to Austin Peay State University, Grant Wicker to Tennessee Tech, Jarrison English to Bethel University and Micah Kelly to Kentucky Christian.
“It was a great experience to play at White House High School and I am thankful for the opportunity to continue playing at Anderson,” Ethan said. “I never would have had this chance to continue my career without the opportunity to come to White House High School.”
Hoffman transferred to the public school at WHHS from Christian Community School where his mother Connie is a teacher, and he spent seven years there. Under his former head coach Tommy Thornton, who is now a volunteer assistant with White House, the Eagles were very successful in eight-man football.
“It was hard to see him make the move but we were very pleased with how things worked out at White House High School,” Connie Hoffman said. “It was hard not to have him here as a student, but we can see how this was God’s plan to work out all along.”
The Anderson Ravens and second year head coach Bobby Ladner compete in the NCAA Division III Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Hoffman will be trading the blue and white for the black and orange. The Blue Devils were District 9-AA champions in his final year in high school, leading to the opportunity.
“They first sent me a letter in January,” Ethan Hoffman said, “but I really didn’t hear or talk much more about it until April. Then, I took a visit up there in May and I am thankful to have the opportunity. I plan to play defense but I will do whatever I need to do.”
White House head coach Jeff Porter realized the valuable contribution Hoffman made to the team.
“He came right in and made a difference for us, and the success of he and his teammates are reflected in how many kids from this class are going to continue to play college football,” he said. “We are very proud of them and they have left a great legacy on this program. Ethan is a great young man and he has great character and leadership and we are happy to have his family as a part of the program.”
Ethan’s dad, Randall, immediately noticed the excellence of the White House football program when his son stepped on campus to start workouts.
“In a way, I will miss the things that go with the program and this was an exciting season, but at the same time I will get to continue that with Austin (who is playing freshman football),” Randall Hoffman said. “The facilities here are great, and I loved following the program not only on Friday nights but looking at the website and the media. It was a great year.
“We are thankful for the opportunity he had at Christian Community, but his chance to continue playing in college is because of the time we had here at White House.”
The day Ethan stepped on campus is one that stuck around in people’s memory.
“I came here just to work out for the first time and then ended up enrolling and playing football,” he said. “Then, at the end of the year, everybody started asking me why I never got the chance to play quarterback. Someone thought on that first day I was a quarterback and no one ever told me.
“I was like, ‘no, I’m a fullback and a linebacker,’” he laughed. “I will play whatever they need me to play. I am just looking forward to it and I am so blessed.”
In the end, playing for a Division III school is much more than just athletics. The scholarships and funding for Division III athletic programs come from academic scholarships.
“Taking care of my academics was so key for me to have the opportunity to play college football,” he said. “There is a lot of financial cost to play football and go to school this far away from home and I would not have been able to do it if I did not get prepared academically.”