As the first quarterback to start and win four bowl games, West Virginia's Pat White was one of the most successful college players of the past decade.
As the 44th overall pick in the 2009 draft, White also was one of the biggest NFL busts in recent memory. The Miami Dolphins dumped White after one year of trying to shoehorn the run-option technician into a Wildcat role behind Chad Pennington and Chad Henne.
Now that the run-option craze is taking the NFL by storm, White is hoping for a second chance at a football career. He can thank undersized Russell Wilson's success for the 10 teams that showed up for White's private workout earlier this month.
That showing at West Virginia's pro day earned White a phone call from San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, the quarterback told USA Today on Sunday.
Following the Alex Smith trade, the 49ers have only Scott Tolzien behind Colin Kaepernick on their depth chart. Although no formal date has been set, Harbaugh plans to bring in White for a workout that might lead to a signing.
"I pay attention to how his players react to Coach Harbaugh," White said. "They all want to win for him. And he seems to treat them how they want to be treated. I'm excited to get to know him on that level -- if I do get that opportunity. I'm very optimistic about making it back to the NFL."
Harbaugh recently stated his goal to find a quarterback to push Kaepernick, most likely in a backup role. White has been working with noted quarterback coach George Whitfield to improve his subpar passing ability, but it's still premature to project him in the No. 2 role that would allow the 49ers to run the same offense in the event of a Kaepernick injury.