In college football history, few quarterbacks demanded ESPN highlight time like West Virginia's Pat White. The Mountaineers legend danced in the pocket like an NBA point guard and threw with the best of his peers.
After his time with the Mountaineers, White joined the pros briefly but never saw his NFL career live up to his college exploits. However, that doesn't mean we can't appreciate all that White did as a dual-threat signal-caller at WVU.
Here's the story of White's athletics career and a look at what he's been up to since those glory days in Morgantown.
Pat White Football Career
Pat White grew up in Daphne, Alabama, where he played football and baseball in high school. A few different colleges wanted him to play football. Still, given his smaller size, most of them wanted him to move off the quarterback position.
When White's freshman season began, he was the co-starter with Adam Bednarik. He took over as the starter in the middle of the season and never looked back. He joined forces with freshman running back Steve Slaton. The dynamic duo led the West Virginia Mountaineers to the best four-year stretch in school history.
White was never a prolific passer, but he racked up rushing yards like no quarterback before him. He rushed for 952 yards as a freshman, including 220 yards and two touchdowns against rival Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl.
White's freshman season ended in the Sugar Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs. He rushed for 77 yards, threw for 120 yards and added a touchdown to lead underdog West Virginia to a 38-35 win.
The success continued from there.
Pat White and Steve Slaton could break loose for 6 at any moment
One of the best QB/RB duos of all time ? pic.twitter.com/710ojLgbmC
— CFB History (@CFB_History) May 5, 2020
In 2006 and 2007, White was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Year. Then, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma capped a tremendous season with perhaps his most outstanding performance. With Bill Stewart serving as the interim head coach, White threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 150 yards, leading WVU to a 48-28 victory and an 11-2 season.
West Virginia took a step back in White's final season, finishing 9-4. However, he did throw for a career-high 332 yards in his last bowl game, winning once again.
White was the first WVU starting quarterback with four bowl victories. By the end of that season, White had made NCAA history as well. He finished his college career with 4,480 rushing yards, which was an FBS record for a quarterback. Michigan's Denard Robinson technically broke it, though his record is controversial.
White racked up 10,529 total yards and 103 total touchdowns in his career. But White actually never finished higher than sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting and was never an All-American. As such, he is not eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame.
White was taken in the second round (44th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. This was at the height of the Wildcat formation's popularity in football. The thought was that White could serve as a Wildcat quarterback and play some wide receiver.
Sadly, we never got to see White's potential fulfilled. During his rookie season, he suffered a helmet-to-helmet collision with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ike Taylor. White had to be carted off the field.
While he was still with the team during the 2010 preseason, White was waived before the regular season began.
Pat White Now
After being let go by Miami after only one season, White tried to return to baseball. He signed a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals in 2010 but did not make it very far.
White then tried football again, signing with the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL. In 2013, he tried his hand at both football and baseball again. White signed a minor league deal with the Miami Marlins early in the year. Then, when the football season rolled around, he signed with the Washington Football Team. The quarterback made a few preseason appearances but did not make the 53-man roster.
White's last gasp as a professional athlete came in 2014 when he signed to play for Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL. He threw five completed passes, ran the ball for 159 yards and retired from football after the season.
In 2018, White joined the staff at Alcorn State as the quarterbacks coach. Before the 2020 season, he signed on with South Florida to serve as their running backs coach, even though he did not play that position in his career. However, his time with USF was brief, as he was let go by the team after the 2020 campaign.
White also got married in 2020, and he has two daughters. One of them, Daphne, is named after his hometown. That, or he's a big Scooby-Doo fan.
Even though we barely got to see White on an NFL field, he remains a favorite of many college football fans. We remember him carrying the ball and tearing through Pittsburgh's secondary or running the Sooner ragged in the Fiesta Bowl. That legacy isn't going anywhere.
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