Pat White was an electric college quarterback at West Virginia. He racked up over 10,000 total yards and 103 touchdowns in four years as a Mountaineer, and he came into the NFL as a promising athlete in 2009. Unfortunately, White played just 13 games as a pro before a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit knocked him out of the league for good.
Pat White was one of the best college quarterbacks of the 2000s
Pat White is largely forgotten today because of his short NFL career, but he was a dominant dual-threat quarterback at West Virginia. He was a four-year starter who led the Mountaineers to a 42-9 combined record. White also led the team to Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl victories.
White started and won four straight bowl games while at West Virginia. He’s still the only quarterback in NCAA history to accomplish that feat.
Over the course of his college career, White threw for 6,049 yards and 56 touchdowns, but he was even more impressive as a runner. White piled up 4,480 rushing yards and 47 rushing touchdowns in four years. He ran for over 950 yards in each of his four seasons at West Virginia.
White was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. He was an intriguing prospect because he could play multiple positions. If he didn’t work out as a quarterback, White had the speed and vision to be a successful running back or wide receiver in the NFL.
White played just 13 games before a brutal hit ended his career
The Dolphins already had two capable quarterbacks on their roster when White arrived with the team. Chad Henne and Chad Pennington both started games in 2009, so White didn’t get much playing time.
White didn’t complete a pass in his rookie season, but he was used sparingly as a runner. He rushed 21 times for 81 yards as a rookie. Miami started to use White as a read option quarterback later in the year until his scary injury.
In a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, White scrambled to the left and took off as a runner in the third quarter. As he lunged for the first down, Ike Taylor dove at White head first and collided with the QB helmet-to-helmet.
White flew out of bounds and lay on the ground motionless for a few seconds. Eventually, the team had to carry White off the field on a stretcher. He didn’t know it at the time, but it would be White’s final play as an NFL quarterback.
White never saw the field again in the NFL
For the most part, players who suffer head or neck injuries take the necessary time off and return to the field shortly after. That wasn’t the case for White. His injury was so severe he was never able to play NFL football again.
Instead of risking further injury to his head, White decided to quit football and pursue a baseball career. He signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2011. However, he never even appeared once for the team and retired from baseball shortly after.
Later that year, White signed with the United Football League’s Virginia Destroyers, but he only lasted two months with the team before getting cut.
White signed with the Washington Redskins in 2013 in an attempt to make an NFL comeback, but he never played a game with the team. White deserved more of a chance to thrive in the NFL, but he never truly got one.
Although a dangerous hit ended his NFL career before it even started, White should be remembered for his incredible highlights and winning ways at West Virginia. He could’ve been just as fun to watch in the NFL if Ike Taylor didn’t knock him out of the league early.