Pat White: 'I thought my (rushing) record would never be broken until Denard came along'
MOBILE, Ala. -- Pat White became the NCAA's all-time quarterback rushing leader under Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia.
He thought the record, set in 2008, would never be broken.
One year later, Rodriguez recruited a quarterback named Denard Robinson to Michigan. And, earlier this month, Robinson broke White's record in the final quarter of his career (finishing with 4,495 yards).
"I thought my record would never be broken ... until Denard came along," White told MLive.com on Wednesday after a Senior Bowl practice. "It couldn't have happened for a better guy, and I'm happy for him.
"He could stay in the record books forever."
In a lot of ways, White and Robinson have traveled similar paths. Both committed to play for Rodriguez, and both became household names in Rodriguez's spread-option offense.
White set the NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback, and Robinson broke it. White was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, and Robinson hails from nearby Deerfield Beach.
The players, whose careers have traveled such similar arcs, met for the first time Wednesday after Robinson's Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peeples Stadium in Mobile.
"His smile made me smile," White said, "and it’s an honor to be around people like that."
Added Robinson, according to the Miami Herald: “That was someone that made me think I could play quarterback in college. That’s an honor for me to meet someone like that.”
The meeting marks the point at which White and Robinson's paths begin to diverge.
White was steadfast in remaining a quarterback when he entered the NFL in 2009. Robinson has elected to move from quarterback to receiver, and will play there in Saturday's Senior Bowl (4 p.m., NFL Network).
Robinson will hope that decision turns out better than White's. The West Virgina star was taken in the second round by the Dolphins, but lasted just one season in the league.
White says he applauds Robinson's move to receiver, although it doesn't make him regret his own choice to remain a quarterback. His advice for Robinson: "Stay humble, stay hungry. Always have the want, and make sure you treat the game like a lifestyle because, in order to be successful, it has to be."
White now is attempting a comeback. He has begun training, and is at the Senior Bowl hoping to drum up interest from a team.
"I want to play again -- and who knows, maybe me and Denard will end up somewhere together," he said. "The two best rushing quarterbacks in NCAA history, on the same offense. Wouldn't that be somethin'?"
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