White wants to finish career on positive note

Published 11:17 pm Thursday, September 4, 2008

Only two years ago, Concordia wide receiver Chad White couldn’t point out Concordia on a map.

Now, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound senior is fighting for playing time in his final year of eligibility.

“I think he can do it,” said coach Shepherd Skanes. “He’s just got to get his mind right. “(A lot) of players come in from big schools, then see that there’s more talent here than at the school they left.”

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The Mangham, La., native signed with Grambling State University in Grambling, La., in 2001, but left after the 2004 season due to financial reasons and a lack of playing time.

White, 26, worked in Birmingham for 1 1/2 years before Grambling High School hired him to coach football.

But his position did not last long.

His girlfriend, Easha Hand, moved to Birmingham to take a position with the Southwestern Athletic Conference as office manager and coordinator of student athlete services.

At the same time, White decided he wanted to finish school. A trip to Birmingham to visit Hand accelerated his comeback.

He met Concordia player Brain Holmes. Holmes sold him on Concordia, then called Skanes to inform him about the new prospect he had found.

Concordia brought White in under two-year, non-participation status. The school requires transfer student-athletes to have a 2.0 GPA or better and transfer in more than 12 hours. White met both requirements and was ready to go in the fall — or so he thought.

A strained hamstring left him sidelined for the Bethel and Livingstone games.

“I almost couldn’t bend my knee,” said White. “It was frustrating sitting on the sideline.”

White is expected to play this weekend against Belhaven, which is music to his ears. He hopes for a shot at the NFL, but he faces three disadvantages — he’s at a small school, he’s 26-years-old and he has no film.

But should the next level not work out for him, White will return to his pursuit of a coaching career.

Skanes thinks he has a promising future in the profession, and joked that White would have his job in five years.

Asked about his own plans in five years, Skanes smiled and said “watching him coach.”