Utah Utes football: Howl of the wolf man

By Connor Malmberg

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Oct. 15 2012 10:09 a.m. MDT

“I really liked the fact that Utah was moving to the Pac-12 Conference because then my parents would be able to see me play more often,” White continued. “I also liked how the Utah coaches never talked down about other schools. But most of all, I really have to thank coach [Kalani] Sitake for recruiting me, because he told me that he liked to recruit offensive guys that he wouldn’t want to coach against. Soon after, I committed and have been really happy with my decision.”

White made an immediate impact at Utah last season, rushing for 1,519 yards to break a 30-year-old school record. He set another school single-season mark by scoring 15 rushing touchdowns. White’s performance earned him second-team all-Pac-12 and honorable mention SI.com All-America recognition.

“I know some people get big heads from gaining a lot of attention,” White said. “I could never do that though. There is always somebody out there that is better than you. When you get arrogant, that is when you think you are better than the team and ‘team’ is what it is all about. Without the linemen I can’t run the ball, and without the receivers I couldn’t get up to the second level to make those big plays and score the touchdowns that I did. Everything that was accomplished last season is credit to a team effort.”

While he was rolling up yards on the field, White’s passion for wolves came to light. He was dubbed the ‘Wolf Man’ by his teammates and the media.

“Everyone has a favorite animal and mine has always been wolves,” White revealed. “I like how wolves work as a pack and are just so dominate. People fear them because they stay as a group and have a strategy against their prey. Before all of the hype happened, I got a tattoo of a wolf on my chest. One day after practice I had my shoulder pads off and people saw it. My teammates gave me that nickname and the media heard about it, and from then on it has stayed with me. But I don’t mind at all. I think it is really cool to hear the Rice-Eccles [Stadium] crowd howling at the games.”

In his final year, White hopes to have the fans on their feet, howling as he continues to pile up rushing yards and touchdowns. Through three games, White is averaging 77.7 yards per game to rank sixth in the Pac-12. Despite missing the BYU game, his 65 carries ranks fifth in the conference.

Regardless of how many accolades he earns during the 2012 season, White will leave Utah with a degree in sociology. Once his football journey is over, White plans to enter a career working with children.

“I will be the first one in my whole family to have earned a college degree, and it means a lot to both me and my family,” White said. “I couldn’t have achieved what I did without so much support from my family. I am so grateful for everything they have done for me and the support they have shown. I know that football helped get me to where I am, but in the end performing well in the classroom and getting good grades is the most important thing.”

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