'Wolf Man' White closes in on Utah rushing record

By Lynn Debruin

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 23 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

If Utah can win, coupled with UCLA and Arizona State losses this weekend, the Utes will be representing the South in the conference championship Dec. 2.

Heady stuff for a guy who got a tattoo of a wolf on his chest because they roll in packs and eat meat to the bone. It earned him the nickname Wolf Man among teammates and makes for a wild Jumbotron display after touchdowns.

But ask him to howl like a wolf as one TV reporter did this week, and White calls it crazy and politely declines.

While he may not howl, he's always ready to gash and go.

"He has the energy of a 3-year old," offensive tackle Tony Bergstrom said. "He's all over the place. We'll come in for 7 a.m. lifts and everyone's just trying to, you know, fake it until you make it. But John's coming in, bouncing off benches, saying, 'I've been up since 4 in the morning. I'm ready to go. Let's go.' "

White's always been that way, not needing an alarm clock to rise by 4 or 5 a.m., or someone to challenge him on the field.

"It just feels like he's got something to prove all the time and he plays like it," Schramm said. "It's not just every game; it's every single play. He's got a burning desire to be a great player."

That's true whether it's 36 carries in the heat or 42 in the snow.

"You could put that guy in for eight quarters and he'd still be going strong," Bergstrom said. "I don't know how he does it. It's all natural."

White wouldn't divulge his breakfast of champions other than to admit he's not exactly a salad eater.

"I'm pretty much a carnivore," he said. And yes, that includes buffalo.

Even former Brigham Young coach LaVell Edwards, who saw White rush for 174 yards against the Cougars on Sep. 17, expects him to break the record.

"The real good ones just have that innate ability to make plays and make it happen," Edwards said. "He's that way. He's not as big as you'd like to have, but all he does is rush for 180 yards a game."

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