Former West Virginia QB Pat White Trades Gridiron Desire for Diamond Dreams

Matthew KiesslingContributor ISeptember 13, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Patrick White #5 of the West Virginia Mountaineers scrambles against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium January 2, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

For much of Friday night it looked as if I might be reversing my headline on Pat White’s release last week and titling this article, “Coal Bowl Weekend Bittersweet for Mountaineers and Pat White.”  But in rallying the Mountaineers to a late fourth quarter comeback, it appears West Virginia might have found their next star quarterback on the day their former signal caller, Pat White, decided to leave football behind.

Former Mountaineer quarterback Pat White had been released by the Miami Dolphins over Labor Day weekend, and as of late last week had received little interest around the NFL. 

So it came as no surprise Friday when it was reported that White had signed a minor league baseball contract to play for the Kansas City Royals.  A star pitcher and outfielder who led his alma mater Daphne High School to two Alabama State Championships, White will now try to make it to the major leagues.

Prior to attending WVU, White had been drafted in the fourth round by the Anaheim Angels in 2004, turning down a lucrative six figure signing bonus for the chance to quarterback the Mountaineers.  White was subsequently drafted again in 2007 by the Angels, in 2008 by the Cincinnati Reds, and in 2009 by the New York Yankees. 

As a high school senior, White hit .487 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, and 26 stolen bases.  All signs point to his ability as a five-tool outfielder, with the original Angels scouting report projecting his potential to be a “Devon White type.”

Long regarded as an intriguing athlete by many, White never seemed to be in the mix at Dolphins training camp, and it is very possible White knew the writing was on the wall many months ago. 

After suffering a devastating concussion at the end of last season, White spent the offseason doing some questioning of his own, tweeting from his now defunct Twitter account that he was, “better off going back to baseball than playing WR,” a comment that prompted many to wonder if the Dolphins had already broached the subject of a position switch with their former second round pick. 

This was something White had resisted since his NFL pre-draft combine days, insisting he was a quarterback.  It now appears that quarterback has become an outfielder.

So with the first Sunday of the NFL season in the books, Pat White has traded in his pads for a glove and bat.  And for the time being he has put football on hold as he pursues his big league dreams.