The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sports

January 25, 2009

White would love chance to be a Steeler

Ask any ordinary prospective NFL draftee and he will tell you he doesn’t care which of the 32 NFL franchises picks him in April’s NFL draft.

As West Virginia fans know, Mountaineer quarterback Patrick White is no ordinary player.

So when White was asked Sunday at the Mountain State Coal Classic Tip-Off Banquet, of which he and WVU coach Bill Stewart were the keynote speakers, which, if any, NFL teams he might like to be drafted by, he had a refreshing response.

“Pittsburgh,” White said. “I grew up a Steelers fan. You didn’t come in my Pops’ house if you weren’t a Steelers fan.”

“And,” added Stewart, seated next to White at the pre-banquet press conference, “we’d love to keep him right here close to home.”

Tournament officials couldn’t have picked a better time to have White as a guest.

On Saturday, White was named the Senior Bowl Most Valuable Player, after passing for 95 yards, a touchdown and leading two scoring drives to, typically, lead his squad to victory.

And it was the first time that White was able to showcase his vast talent to scouts and player personnel representatives from all 32 NFL teams.

Draft gurus such as Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN have White listed as a second- or third-round selection in the upcoming draft.

In getting ready for the draft, White’s representatives have him working out in California at one of the many training facilities where prospective draftees work out.

“There are a lot of great athletes there, and hopefully they’ll beef me up,” White said. “I’ll work out there until (March) 18th and then I’ll go to the NFL Combine and see where it goes from there.”

White wasn’t sure how his performance in the star-studded Senior Bowl will help his status.

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