White was a four-year starter at cornerback for the Buckeyes from 1984-87, earning All-Big Ten honors and serving as a team captain in 1987. Following his time at Ohio State, white spent 11 seasons in the NFL, playing with the Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.
White had been battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes gradual loss of muscle function, since his diagnosis in 2016. But he always kept a positive mindset even after the diagnosis, choosing to continue living his life to the fullest.
“One of the things I always told my kids is things you can’t control, don’t worry about it. Things you can control, you go out there, you fight, you do all the hard work you can, to make that change, to make it right,” White told Eleven Warriors in 2018. “There’s nothing I can do to help cure this by tomorrow. There’s no need to be worried about it or get mad or anything like that. You live your life. No one’s guaranteed next year. So you live each day that you have and it will happen when it happens, but you do the work to help fight the cause.”
White made quite the impression on the football world both on and off the field, and many took to social media to mourn his passing, including his son Brendon, who played college football at both Ohio State and Rutgers.
I love you Dad! Keep watching down on us I know you gonna watch over and protect us. I promise with all my heart you’ll see me in a NFL jersey as we promised each other! We love and miss you! I promise to make you proud. U always taught me no one or thing determines my success https://t.co/pZriIfRGbv
— Brendon White (@therealestbw0) July 29, 2022
— Matt Finkes (@MattFinkes) July 29, 2022
RIP to Big Bro William White He was one of the greatest guys I've ever known. When I was Lima Senior HC he was was one of my biggest supporters. The world will moss you big bro. Much love to the White Family. We lost a legend #buckeyebrotha #limaspartanation pic.twitter.com/XOSO8NLENN
— Coach Andre Griffin (@griffin_andre) July 29, 2022
William was my teammate in KC. The smartest football mind I EVER known! Proud to have known and played along side him. RIP#35 🙏🏾
— Mark Collins Sr. (@2FIVESPORTS) July 29, 2022
This is so sad. White was a heck of a player. Spielman dedicated his “Pride of the Lions” induction in 2021 to White, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2017. https://t.co/btil48mv0O
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) July 29, 2022
— Jay Clemons (@ByJayClemons) July 29, 2022
RIP to a great man. William had an infectious personality. Prayers to the family 🙏🏼 https://t.co/mpr10sVNKV
— Mark Pantoni (@markpantoni) July 29, 2022
White’s legacy will undoubtedly live on.