The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

March 28, 2014

Pat White signs with CFL team

MORGANTOWN — Former West Virginia University quarterback Pat White is taking his dream to return to the National Football League north to the Canadian Football League for what, at age 28, may be a final chance to prove himself.

White signed on Thursday with the Edmonton Eskimos, a team desperate for help at quarterback.

Edmonton finished 4-14 last year, its second straight season as the last-place finisher in the CFL.

White is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback in WVU history, and that is a large statement considering that Jeff Hostetler, a Super Bowl hero; Major Harris, Marc Bulger and Geno Smith all have quarterbacked the Mountaineers. But still, White will receive a lot of competition for the starting job.

Mike Riley, a veteran who has played with three NFL franchises, is back. He was last season’s starter. Also on hand are Matt Nichols, Jonathan Crompton and Jacory Harris.

White has not played a full season since his senior season at WVU, 2008, when he led the Mountaineers to their fourth consecutive bowl victory, the only quarterback in school history to accomplish that feat.

White rushed for 4,480 yards and 47 touchdowns and threw for 6,049 yards and 56 touchdowns as a Mountaineer. He was a second-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins, played a season but suffered a concussion that took him out of the NFL.

He played part of the 2010 season on a minor league baseball contract with Kansas City.

White returned to the NFL last year, signing with the Washington Redskins, who were going to be without Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III through training camp. White possessed a lot of the same run and pass skills RGIII displayed, so was perfect to fill in for him in camp.

It appeared after he put on spectacular performance in a preseason game in Nashville that he had a chance to stick as a third quarterback. In that game he completed five of eight passes, ran for 33 yards on five carries, including a nine-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion pass to rookie tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi to win the game.

But White was cut on Sept. 14 despite having passed for better than 300 yards and rushed for 103 yards in preseason play.

White has been working hard to return to the NFL, working out at former WVU strength coach Mike Barwis’ facility in Michigan and being part of a reality TV show that will air this fall along with former Mountaineer Noel Devine.

White is the second WVU player to sign recently with Edmonton; former offensive lineman Selvish Capers joined the Eskimos two weeks ago.

Edmonton plays its first game of its upcoming season on June 28 in Vancouver, British Columbia against the BC Lions.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

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Bob Herzel
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