Former West Virginia legend Pat White gives up football to pursue acting

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: When you cover the sport of college football full-time, there isn’t all that much that surprises you. From coaching changes to TV contracts, and schools changing conferences the way you and I change shoes in the morning, this sport really has become a never-ending, 365-day-a-year roller coaster.

Of course every once in a while there is a news piece that’s so surprising, so out of left field, that even we totally can’t believe our eyes when we see it.

One of those news pieces came out this weekend, when the West Virginia Metro News caught up with former West Virginia football legend Pat White. One of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks in the history of the sport has struggled since leaving Morgantown, bouncing between the NFL and USFL, and even trying his hand as a professional baseball player for a time as well. But according to the Metro News, White has decided to put his athletic career behind him forever, and instead, pursue an entirely different passion altogether.

From the Metro News:

Former Mountaineer quarterback Pat White announced on Saturday that he’s moving on with his life after sports and will be pursuing a career in acting.

“I’ll be taking some workshops and I’ve got to work on some headshots,” White said.  “Those will be coming up here soon.”

Woah. Safe to say none of us saw that one coming. Only apparently White is 100 percent serious, and according to the Metro News has even found representation for his new endeavor.

In all seriousness, it’s tough to totally know what to make of White’s decision.

Certainly as a young guy with his whole life ahead of him, we wish White nothing but the best. In his time on the football field at West Virginia, he was nothing short of one of the truly great ambassadors of the sport, and a legend in Morgantown. He finished his storied career at West Virginia with numerous school records, and an NCAA record for most rushing yards for a quarterback (4,480). He is also the only quarterback in NCAA history to start and win four bowl games, including a 2006 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia that, at least at the time, single-handedly changed the perception of the Big East football conference. Nobody goes into SEC country and beats SEC teams. Only that day the Mountaineers got the better of Georgia, in the Georgia Dome none the less. It was just the first of many signature moments in a West Virginia uniform for White.

But as he moves onto the next chapter in his life without sports, it really does make us wonder if White is the typical guy in his mid-20’s, unsure of what to do with his future. Since leaving West Virginia in the spring of 2009, White played one year in the NFL, before giving up football to pursue a baseball career with the Kansas City Royals (White was also drafted out of high school by the Angels and while at West Virginia by the Rockies). When baseball didn’t work out, he again came back to football, trying to catch on with the USFL’s Virginia Destroyers before giving that up too. Now it’s off to acting. That’s a lot of career moves in a short amount of time. Then again, it’s not all that uncommon for a man White’s age. He just happens to be a high-profile ex-athlete.

Regardless, we here at Crystal Ball Run wish the young guy nothing but a ton of success going forward in the field of acting. And apparently we’re not alone, as all of Mountaineer nation has embraced White’s move.

He told the Metro News:

“It’s good to have people behind you that support you,” he said.  “It gives you motivation and makes you feel like you have a backbone, even if you don’t.”

After everything he did on the field, it’s safe to say everyone in West Virginia will be rooting for Pat White going forward. Even if he never again puts on a set of football pads.

For all his articles, opinions and insights into college football, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.