Height: 6-0 Weight: 190 Age: 29
Born: 2/25/1986 Mobile , AL
College: West Virginia
Selected By: Miami Dolphins
Pick (Overall): 12 (44)
There have been many quarterbacks attempt to break into the NFL after great success in college spread offenses. Some have been blessed with impressive athletic ability but usually have ended up moving to another position.
Pat White understands his days as a quarterback could be over, but based on his work ethic and quickness, a shift to wide receiver or even tailback could see him find a quicker path to realizing his dream of playing in the National Football League.
White has drawn comparisons to Pittsburgh's Hines Ward and Redskins' WR Antwaan Randle-El. Both were college quarterbacks who went on to great success as receivers in the NFL. For every Ward and Randle-El story, there are reminders of failures of other spread quarterbacks, most notably former Nebraska quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch and West Virginia's Major Harris.
White is a fine athlete. Many pro baseball scouts felt that he could be
a standout pitcher or outfielder, if he went to a baseball diamond. Coming out of high school, where he was a pitcher/outfielder on two state championship baseball teams, he was a fourth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels in 2004.
The nation's most versatile threat at quarterback, White closed out his career as the NCAA's all-time leader in rushing yardage by a quarterback, registering 4,480 yards. Before he concluded his Mountaineers career, he would go on to establish 19 school, Big East Conference and major college records. The first starting quarterback to win four bowl games, he also is the first player in league history to gain over 10,000 yards in total offense (10,529). He also set the Big East mark for touchdowns responsible for (103).
Named the team's Most Valuable Player in each of his final three seasons, White became the first three-time winner of the West Virginia Amateur Athlete of the Year Award. He was named MVP of the Senior Bowl in his home state of Alabama after guiding the South to a 35-18 victory over the North at Mobile.
At Daphne High School, White finished third in the "Mr. Football" voting by the Alabama Sports Writers Association as a senior. The first-team All-State Class 6-A quarterback rushed for 1,905 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior, he passed for 1,488 yards and 15 scores. Daphne won 14 straight games before losing the state final, 22-17.
White was named to the All-Super Southeast team and was a member of the Mobile Register's Elite 18 squad in addition to being named the 2003 Sideline and 1st-and-10 Player of the Year. He also pitched and played in the outfield for three seasons, leading the baseball team to a pair of state championships.
Four months after White signed with West Virginia in 2004, the Angels selected him in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft and offered a six-figure signing bonus. White decided to stick with football.
"My favorite moment as a player was when I realized I wanted to be a Mountaineer," he said. "The day of my visit, when I ran out on that field, it felt like nothing I've ever felt before."
White spent the 2004 season performing on the scout team. To help acclimate him to the system and more so because of his keen grasp of the playbook, he traveled with the team and was assigned to relaying signals to the WVU offense.
In 2005, White was a consensus Freshman All-American and Freshman All-Big East Conference first-team choice. He appeared in twelve games, starting five contests for an injured Adam Bednarik. He gained just 828 yards on 65-of-114 passing (57.0%), but ranked second on the squad in rushing, gaining 952 yards with seven scores on 131 carries (7.3-yard average). He proved to be a running threat with great elusiveness and was sacked just five times during his first season on the varsity.
As a sophomore, White was named the Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He added All-ECAC first-team honors and was voted both Alabama and West Virginia Athlete of the Year. One of 18 semifinalists for Davey O'Brien Award, he completed 118-of-179 attempts (65.92%) for 1,655 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
He finished second on the team in rushing, producing 1,219 yards and 18 scores on 165 attempts (7.4-yard average). Despite all the running, White was sacked only 12 times, averaging 239.5 yards per game in total offense. A high ankle sprain vs. South Florida kept him out of the meeting vs. Rutgers. Along with tailback Steve Slaton (1,744), they became the 14th tandem in NCAA major college annals to give their team two 1,000-yard runners in the same season.
In 2007, the Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Year finished sixth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. He was named to ESPN's All-Bowl Team, in addition to being selected the MVP of the Fiesta Bowl. He led the team in rushing with 1,335 yards and fourteen touchdowns, the second-best rushing total of any major college quarterback during the season.
Along with Steve Slaton (1,051), they became the second tandem in NCAA annals to each rush for over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. The semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Davey O'Brien Award connected on 144-of-216 passes (66.67%) for 1,724 yards, 14 scores and only four interceptions. He also averaged 235.31 yards per game in total offense, despite missing good portions of the South Florida (right quad bruise) and Pittsburgh contests (right thumb dislocation) with injuries.
White was selected All-Big East Conference first-team as a senior. Lacking his partner in the backfield, tailback Steve Slaton (Houston Texans), the quarterback anchored a young offense, completing 180-of-274 passes (65.69%) for a career-high 1,842 yards, 21 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He finished second on the squad with 974 yards and eight scores on 191 rushing attempts (5.1-yard average), despite poor protection up front, as he was sacked a career-high 16 times.
The senior also averaged 234.67 yards per game in total offense in 12 contests. A helmet-to-helmet collision in the second quarter vs. Rutgers would knock him out of that contest and force him to sit out the next week vs. Syracuse.
"He is an electrifying athlete," North Carolina coach Butch Davis said of White. "The thing I think makes him equally as dangerous is that he can throw the football very, very well." Some Mountaineers fans have labeled him the greatest football player in school history. "Everybody's entitled to their opinion," White said. "And I'm grateful to those that think so."