- Jeff MacGregor
This article appears in the April 20 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
1. Pat White will throw the football until someone tells him to stop.
2. No one has told him to stop.
3. Pat White thinks he can be a quarterback in the National Football League.
4. Last year, he finished his career at West Virginia with a 147.37 efficiency rating, 6,049 passing yards and 56 touchdowns. He also set the NCAA's all-time record for rushing yards by a quarterback, with 4,480. He is the only starting quarterback in NCAA history to win four bowl games. These numbers back him up.
5. These numbers let him down: Pat White is 6'1", 202 pounds. A cruiserweight David in a world that prizes Goliath.
6. All those numbers have furrowed many brows in the NFL, tangled many thoughts, and set coaches and GMs and scouts and bloggers in every franchise city to staring out their windows and stroking their goatees in frustration. Hmmm, if only …
7. Like Matt Leinart, Cade McNown, Chris Simms and Michael Vick, Pat White is lefthanded. Oy.
8. The NFL dotes on big, righthanded QBs. So much so that it often turns great college passers of lesser height or beef or adroitness into wideouts or defensive backs. Or insurance salesmen.
9. This story was originally meant to be about Pat White's remaking himself as a wide receiver. About how he had exactly 100 days from the end of his college career to the date of the draft to become something else, to become someone else, and in so doing, to make himself more valuable to an institution that doesn't know what to do with him. He didn't do that.
So this is a story about something else.
Lots of folks think they know what's best for the ex-West Virginia QB, but they don't know Pat White.