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Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

N F L _ I S L A N D E R S

NFL Hawaii

White may be
NFL draft pick
or free agent

Former Farrington
football star is hoping NFL calls
...maybe on Sunday

Pat Bigold


Josh White knows his name won't be called on Saturday, and he can only hope it's called before the NFL draft gets down to Mr. Irrelevant on Sunday.

His scouting reports range from outstanding on to nonexistent in other internet draft advances.

Nonetheless, the former Farrington High all-state player is pretty sure he's going to play pro football. He's just not sure if it will be as a draftee or as a free agent.

"I know I'm going to be in a camp and that's all you can ask for," he said yesterday.

White also knows he's going to graduate from the University of California this spring with a degree in juvenile justice, and that he's going to see his third child born in July.

Special to the Star-Bulletin
Josh White, a former Farrington High player, is pictured
in high-flying form with the University of California Bears.
He plans to play pro football, whether he's an
NFL draft pick or not.

For a man of lesser character, this scenario would be unlikely. The 23-year-old White, who started three seasons at fullback for the Golden Bears, was barely a year old when he fell on a toy and lost the sight in his left eye.

But en route to becoming a Division I player and a pro prospect, he's never asked for sympathy, and he's never played like a handicapped athlete.

In fact, during his prep and college playing days, White had a way of making sure the subject never came up.

No one asked about it when he was punishing defenders or dragging them into the Aloha Stadium end zone in high school. No one would have believed it on Oct. 16, 1999 when White made a 62-yard, tackle-busting run to the UCLA four-yard line.

CBS certainly doesn't mention it in its glowing assessment of his potential.

"This bruiser has been one of the better complimentary players in the nation over his three starting seasons," reads the report.

"...He did not realize his full potential as a collegian and could be one of the real finds late in the draft or in free agency...He'll make a quality FA (free agent) addition with the talent to be a big surprise as a starter."

The minimum for a NFL rookie has risen to $195,000 for this coming season and that would be a big help to White.

Married to the former Ginger Lau of Honolulu, he has two daughters (two-year-old Imani and one-year-old Tehani) and a son on the way.

There's another talent that belies White's so-called handicap.

"He can catch the football and a lot of fullbacks can't do that," said Cal head coach Tom Holmoe.

CBS refers to White as a "wide bowling ball type of back."

That description makes him smile, but he knows he's got the speed (4.7 in the 40) to put defenders in the gutter.

"I love to hit," he said.

White said he's realistic. He knows that this class of fullbacks is being reviewed as one of the worst in years.

"They say a fullback won't go until the fourth or late third round," he said. "But it doesn't matter. Even free agent is not a bad way to go because you can take the team where you have the best opportunity to make it."

He said he knows of five or six teams that would invite him to a camp. "I've worked out twice for the 'Niners," said White. "They called my coach again the other day." Tom Rathman, 49ers running backs coach, has personally scouted White.

White's research shows at least six NFL teams need fullback help.

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