From walk-on to first team all-conference

By Joe Fortenbaugh and Wes Bunting:

Michigan State wide receiver Blair White was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing baseball and basketball in addition to his first love, football.

But while most NFL draft prospects had the luxury of picking from dozens of scholarship offers, White’s opportunities were a little less plentiful.

“I had no basketball offers and a Division III baseball offer,” the senior wideout told us last week during a podcast. “Coming out of high school, football was my favorite sport. I had a passion for that, and a lot of people around me — my friends — were going D-II and D-III, and I just wanted to try something bigger than that.”

White decided to walk-on at Michigan State — a school where his mother, Vicki, was an All-American swimmer and his cousin, Jessica, was a four-year starter on the Spartans softball team.

“It’s very competitive,” White said about being from a family with several standout athletes. “I’m always catching some flack from my cousin, Jessica, about who’s made a bigger impact or who has a higher grade point or just anything.”

While he’s too humble to say it, White may have assumed the title as the family’s standout athlete. After redshirting in 2005 and seeing limited action on the field in 2006 and 2007, the 6-2, 209-pounder was named honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2008 after catching 43 passes for 659 yards and one touchdown, setting the stage for a big senior season.

And the 23-year-old didn’t disappoint.

White led Michigan State in all receiving categories in 2009, hauling in 70 passes (fourth in the Big Ten) for 990 yards (second) and nine touchdowns (first) on his way to earning first team All-Big Ten honors and being recognized as an Academic All-American.

Did we forget to mention the kid has a 3.89 GPA in human biology?

But as White knows, the journey is far from over. He’s going to need to raise his game to the next level if he wants to succeed in the NFL.

“I like to be the best at whatever I do, whether that’s playing cards or on the football field. It’s the competitive attitude I have to go out every day in whatever it is that I do and be the best at it.”

From walk-on to first team All-Big Ten, White takes the next step later this month as the NFL Draft kicks off in New York on April 22.

Follow us on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh @WesBunting

For more on Blair White, be sure to check out this youtube highlight video and listen to the podcast above.

For more draft prospect interviews, click here.

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