Willie White was part of perhaps the best recruiting class in Georgia Tech’s history. The class of 2007 makes up a who’s who on the current version of the Yellow Jacket football team. Willie’s potential coming in was as great as some of the guys filling up the box score week after week for Tech but, thanks in part to injuries, that promise wasn’t reached in Atlanta and White felt it was best to move on to find another opportunity to continue his dream of being a football star.
In addition to injuries, Willie switched positions several times, and ultimately wasn’t an ideal fit for Paul Johnson’s offense. Through it all he maintained a great attitude, worked hard and didn’t complain. He was always loved by Tech fans, would have continued to wish him well even after transferring. He also maintains close relationships with many of Tech’s current players.
White has again suffered a setback to his dreams of playing football since his transfer to Coffeyville. A thumb injury and subsequent surgery has led to yet another lost season. Willie is more determined than ever to play though. He is now seeking a new location to finally realize that vast potential. He is already receiving some interest and is staying positive that he can lean on all of his experiences and find just the right place.
Now that you been in Coffeyville for some time, how do you like Kansas versus Georgia?
"To be honest I didn’t even know where the state actually was until the day before I got on the plane to fly out for the 1st day of summer classes. It’s nowhere near the same as Georgia. From the differences in temperature to just the way people talk. I miss Georgia."
I understand you suffered another season ending injury. Tell us about it.
"Well it was about a week before our first Scrimmage against NEO and I think it was a Thursday practice, but somehow my hand got caught in between the ball carrier and the defender and my hand just got smashed between the two. When I realized what was wrong with my hand I couldn’t believe it. My thumb was twisted backwards and all I could do was wiggle my thumb a little bit I was kind of in shock afterward. I had to have surgery the base of my thumb and had to get a screw put in my hand."
Since playing your senior year of high school in 2006 you’ve redshirted in 2007, suffered the meniscus injury in your right knee in 2008 and sat out the entire season, transferred to Coffeyville and now have this injury. It has to be frustrating and difficult to miss all of that time on the field. What makes you think you’ll be physically ready for the rigors of football again and what inspires you to continue on in this pursuit?
"Because I believe in myself and I have a good people around me who support me in anything that I do. I have a deep passion for the game of football and its something that I want to continue playing for a very long time. I’ve been through so much in the past two years - more than I ever thought would ever happen to me. I thank GOD everyday for healing me 100% and keeping the passion burning inside of me through all of this. Now I’m just ready to play some football."
What are your plans for football in 2010?
"To be signed to a new school and getting ready to come in and compete for a starting role."
Have you received any offers to date?
"The only official offer that I have at the moment is Western Carolina. Other than that I’ve just been hearing from other schools hoping for good news."
Which other programs are you interested in and which programs have already shown interest in you?
"I’m very interested in Western Carolina, Arizona, UCF, South Carolina, Kentucky, California, Illinois, Tennessee, Appalachian State and South Florida. I’m really open to anyone really - those where just off the top of my head."
Is the type of town you would potentially play in come into play when making a decision?
"I don’t feel like it would be that great of a factor because I’ve been able to see what it’s like in both situations - both in a large city and in a small town. But I would say just a school with a great fan base."
Since you’ve played on both sides of the ball, what positions are teams most interested in having you play?
"I feel like most teams really like me at safety, but some have interest at WR so its been kind of 50/50."
What are your thoughts on the season Georgia Tech is having so far?
"Not a surprise to me because I was there and saw how hard you had to work on a daily basis being apart of that program. So I knew all of that hard work would amount to something great."
Which former teammates do you still keep up with?
"Mario Butler, my best friend on the team, my boy Anthony Egbuniwe, Dominique Reese, Clyde Yandell, D.J. Donley, Albert Rocker, and Brandon Leslie. I made a lot of good friends while being there and I will take lessons learned from that situation with me for life."
As always, Georgia Tech fans continue to wish Willie well in his endeavors.