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James White gets advice from Giovani Bernard, Montee Ball


Going back to his high school days, Wisconsin tailback James White is used to sharing carries. All that sharing could help him in the run-up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

White has shared carries with the likes of Giovani Bernard, Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon, and on Tuesday's College Football 24/7 podcast, White said he had reached out to Bernard and Ball about the pre-draft process.

"They just told me it was a long process and to stay focused and work hard," White said.

White shared carries with Gordon this season for the Badgers but still managed to rush for 1,444 yards. Gordon had 1,609, making them the first rushing duo in NCAA history with at least 1,400 yards each.

It was the second 1,000-yard season at Wisconsin for White, who seemingly always has been the "other" guy. It started in high school, at powerhouse Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas. As a prep senior, White shared carries with Bernard, now with the Cincinnati Bengals. At Wisconsin, White shared carries with Ball (2010-12), John Clay (2010-11) and Gordon (2012-13).

But White says he is confident he can carry the load as a feature back in the NFL.

White has been invited to the combine, and he said he wants to make sure he runs a good 40 time. He should be clocked in the 4.5 range, and obviously, the quicker he runs, the better his draft stock will be.

One positive is that White -- who can turn the corner but also is comfortable between the tackles -- is a solid all-around back. While he has shared time, he also finished his Badgers career with 4,015 yards and 45 touchdowns on the ground. The yardage total was the fourth-highest among active players this season, and the TD total was third-highest.

He also is a good receiver, with 73 career receptions, and a solid blocker. White said he has modeled his game after former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook as well as the Saints' Darren Sproles.

White, who had a strong Reese's Senior Bowl performance, says his strengths are his vision and his ability to make people miss in space. He ran for 61 yards and a TD on 11 carries and had four receptions for 12 yards in the Senior Bowl.

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen has said White is the most complete back he has been around, and that includes Robert Turbin, who played for Andersen at Utah State and now plays for the Seattle Seahawks.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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