By Mike Montoro for MSNsportsNET.com
May 12, 2008
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Two-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Pat White was named as the quarterback on the 52nd Playboy All-American preseason team as announced by the organization at its annual All-American weekend held at the Hilton Pointe Resort at Tapatio Cliffs in Phoenix, Arizona.
“This definitely is one of the highlights of my career to this point,” White said. “I can’t give my parents, coaches and teammates enough credit because without them, none of these awards would be possible.
“I guess you could say that my career to this point has been successful. You are happy to have had a small part in the team success. My goal in my senior season is to continue furthering the success of our team.”
This is the third-straight year that a player from West Virginia has been selected to the team, Steve Slaton was on the team last year and Dan Mozes in 2006. In all, eight Mountaineer players have been named to the Playboy All-American teams: Carl Crennel (OL/1969), Paul Woodside (K/1983), Brian Jozwiak (OL/1985), Major Harris (QB/1989), Mike Compton (OL/1992), Dan Mozes (OL/2006), Steve Slaton (RB/2007) and White (QB/2008). Eric de Groh (OL/1998) and Jay Henry (LB/2006) were named Playboy Academic All-Americans.
Don Nehlen was the coach of the Playboy All-America team in 1989.
“Pat White is the greatest winner in college football, period,” WVU Football Coach Bill Stewart said. “He works hard and continually wants to improve himself and his teammates. He’s led us to two BIG EAST Conference titles, three-straight 11-win seasons, three-straight bowl game wins and a third-straight Top-10 national finish. I am proud of him, and he deserves any honors that come his way.”
White was named the Offensive MVP at the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and the 2007 Gator Bowl. He was recently named the West Virginia Amateur Athlete of the Year by the West Virginia Sportswriters Association for the second-straight year.
White completed 144 of 216 passes for 1,724 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and ran for a team-high 1,335 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is the career leader in rushing yards by a quarterback in the BIG EAST with 3,356 yards and needs 934 yards to pass Missouri’s Brad Smith to become the NCAA all-time leader.
“Pat White is very impressive as a football player and as a person,” said Gil Brandt, former 20-year Vice President of the Dallas Cowboys and current NFL writer for NFL.com. “He is a quiet person who has an impressive amount of ability. He has worked hard on his passing game and has improved dramatically over the past two years. When you talk to him, you know he has character when he looks you in the eye and gives you a good handshake. He has winner written all over him.”