Pat White Planning Return to Football - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Pat White Planning Return to Football


Pat White is planning a return to professional football.

The question, three seasons removed from his one year in the NFL, is if anyone will give him a shot.

White, a Daphne, Ala. native, showed up to Senior Bowl practice this week in Mobile to shake hands with league representatives, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Exactly four years ago, White was taking part in those practices, preparing for his turn in the Senior Bowl. He took advantage of the opportunity, passing for a game-best 95 yards on four completions with a touchdown while adding 31 yards on three carries.  

He was named Most Valuable Player in the game as he helped the South team to a 35-18 victory over the North.

If no one else, Miami's Bill Parcells was watching and took notice of White for what he had done over a four-year career at West Virginia University. On draft day, Parcells and the Dolphins selected White in the second round with plans to use him in their wildly popular wildcat scheme.

But White's contribution was minimal with just 81 yards on 21 carries and zero completions in five pass attempts. In the final game of the season, a hit from Pittsburgh's Ike Taylor sent White to the hospital with a concussion and proved to be the former Mountaineer's last play in the NFL.

He believes there is still time to change that.

"I'm still young. My legs are still with me," White told Ben Volin of the Post. "I'm like a 2009 model with about 4,500 miles on it. It still runs just as smooth."

Just last summer, White returned to Morgantown to help coach a youth football camp with other former Mountaineers and his tone was quite different. His focus was a career in acting and in the entertainment business, and he assured us that his playing days – in any sport – were behind him.

This revelation came after a brief stint with Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals organization and the United Football League's Virginia Destroyers, neither of which lasted more than a couple of months.

He had chosen a new direction and seemed determined to find success in it. He's an athlete, though, and old habits die hard.

"Everyone wants to point fingers as to why it didn't work out in the NFL. I felt it was because of me," White said. "I could've done a lot more film study, a lot more working on my game. Instead of being there 30 minutes after practice, be there an hour. It's the little things."

White did the little things at WVU. It's a big part of why he was so effective.

Coaches praised him for his attention to detail, his film study and above all, his presence as a team leader.

Those attributes combined with an excess of athletic ability helped push White to 10,529 total yards with 56 passing touchdowns and 47 with his feet. He was the first quarterback to start and win four bowl games. His storied college career made White an intriguing prospect at the NFL level, despite his small frame.

"I understand now that I was disrespectful, very disrespectful, to the gifts that I was given," White said. "I wasn't as focused as I should have been, and I took my gifts for granted. Now that I know that, it won't happen again."

In the years since White left the NFL, his style of play at the quarterback position has become far more common. Young athletes like Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are causing opposing defenses fits with their running ability on top of strong arms.

It remains to be seen if anyone in the NFL will bite on White's desire for a comeback, but the success that those who have come after him have had may help his cause.  

White, for one, is confident.

"There's no trying," White told the Post. "I'm getting back in. It's going to happen."

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