|Tennessee Titans RB White returns home to face Broncos|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 19 November 2007 10:23|
The ever-accommodating White was besieged by ticket requests all week from friends and family members who wanted to see him play Monday night against the Denver Broncos.
The tickets were the easy part compared to finding time to visit with everyone. White, who grew up in Denver before heading off to play at USC, only had a few spare hours to make the rounds.
Then again, this was a business trip, not a social gathering.
``I've been waiting for this forever,'' White said of playing in Denver. ``It seems so surreal.''
Tight end Bo Scaife knows how he feels. Scaife hails from Denver as well, but he didn't deal with the hassle of procuring tickets.
``I refer all that to my family,'' Scaife said. ``I know there's a lot of them (wanting tickets).''
White can still recall his first-ever visit to Invesco Field for a Broncos game. He was a die-hard St. Louis fan and Dave Logan, his high school football coach and the play-by-play voice for the Broncos' radio station, got him into a Rams game in 2002.
``It was sweet,'' said White, even though the Rams lost 23-16. ``I had the binoculars out and was checking it out. It was fun for me.''
Logan instantly knew he had something special in White, who rushed for 1,825 yards in helping Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colo., to a state title in 2001. He was a big, strong back who simply plowed his way through defenders.
White, who spent two seasons at Denver South High before transferring to Chatfield, ended his preps career with 7,803 yards, which was then a Colorado record.
``He's got such tremendous talent,'' said Logan, who was a receiver for the Cleveland Browns and the Broncos. ``The success he's had is not surprising to me at all.''
White helped lead USC to back-to-back national championships in 2003 and 04, as well as an appearance in a third title game, where the Trojans were beaten by Texas in the Rose Bowl. The loss came thanks to a winning touchdown run by Titans teammate Vince Young.
He said Young doesn't hold the championship win over his head too much.
``He's a good dude,'' said White, who set a USC record by scoring 52 career rushing touchdowns. ``If it was me and the roles were reversed, I'd probably be talking a lot more than he is. He just lets me know he still has the hardware, and sometimes he'll throw it in my face. For the most part, he's cool about it.''
White, selected by the Titans in the second round in 2006, has rushed for 625 yards this season and five touchdowns. He had three straight 100-yard games earlier this season.
``He's got the kind of talent to be a big-time player in this league,'' Logan said. ``I'm anxious to see how his career progresses.''
Broncos running back Travis Henry helped groom White last season, giving him pointers in practice. Henry, released by the Titans and then signed by Denver last March, still keeps close tabs on him.
``I haven't been down there, but I hear his work ethic has changed,'' Henry said. ``He's working now. That's good. If he stays committed, I think he'll be a good one.''
White was reunited with Chris Brown in the backfield this week. Brown, who played down the road at the University of Colorado, has missed the last four games with a high left ankle sprain.
``I'm excited for him coming back,'' said White, whose cousin is Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups. ``He's more of a speedier guy, so it's good to get him on the outside and let him do what he does.''
White is more of a punisher, preferring to run straight through tacklers. Broncos rookie defensive lineman Tim Crowder can attest to that. Crowder had his fill of White as a member of the Texas Longhorns. Crowder remembers White being a load to bring down in the Rose Bowl.
``I think he weighs more than I do,'' Crowder said with a laugh.
Close, but not quite. Crowder still has White by 35 pounds.
``He looks the same,'' Crowder said. ``He's still running the ball hard, he's still big and strong and he's still got that will. He's playing like (former Pittsburgh running back) Jerome Bettis. However much Bettis weighed, just add about 20 pounds to it. You've just got to hit him before he hits you.''
``You don't want to hit him when he's full of steam,'' he said.