Jets’ Mike White says it’s’ pretty cool ‘to start an NFL game

Growing up, football was never the plan for New York Jets quarterback Mike White. Baseball was her first love.

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A notable pitcher for NSU University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., White was named Louisville Slugger High School All-American as a junior. By then his attention had started to turn to football. Years later, his decision to pursue a career on the grill instead of the mound led to his first NFL start against the Bengals on Sunday.

“It’s crazy. I’ve talked to all my friends who are in the major league, like Luis Guillorme, the New York Mets second baseman. We played together for a long time and we were talking the other day, funny how growing up, i was all baseball and then somewhere in high school, our ways, i went to football and everyone kept baseball, “said White.” When you say it like that, that’s crazy. I was talking to Josh Johnson the other day and telling him that maybe he was, maybe he was in the NFL longer than I played football now, just starting in high school and things of that nature. It’s cool even when you think about it and think about it in that aspect, it’s kind of funny.

Despite a late start in the sport, White rose through the ranks and secured a starting role as a senior. He quickly became one of the most dominant quarterbacks in Sunshine State high schools. White was named 3A Player of the Year in Florida and led the University to a 13-0 record and a 3A State Championship. He finished fifth in the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Football vote.

White then played two seasons for the University of South Florida before transferring to Western Kentucky University. He was selected by Dallas in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and signed with the Jets practice team in Week 4 of the 2019 season.

“Any child who grows up playing athletics, your ultimate goal is to reach the professional level. Funny, playing in college, my whole goal in college was to play and win. And then after my junior year, we had some success, then agents called me to ask me if I was leaving early and then scouts would come in, it was never really at the forefront of my work ”, he said. White said. “I was just winning and winning, that’s all I was really interested in and then the rest would take care of itself. Come to think of it, it’s kinda cool looking at the whole process and my state of mind and where I am now, it’s kinda cool.

In his first regular-season appearance in the NFL last week, White completed 20 of 32 passes for 202 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown in the Jets’ 54-13 loss to the Patriots. He came on early in the second quarter when Zach Wilson injured his knee.

While Wilson is expected to be out for two to four weeks, the Jets acquired Joe Flacco in a trade with the Eagles on Monday, which means Sunday’s start against the Bengals could be White’s last. Flacco is expected to show up for training on Friday.

“I think as a safeguard, anytime you get the chance to start it’s always your chance to prove yourself. I don’t think Joe’s arrival changes anything like that. Joe was here last year, I have a great relationship with Joe, ”White said. “Glad to see him again and rekindle stuff, and then talk to him about ping-pong bullshit and things of that nature.” But no, I don’t think Joe’s arrival changes anything. I’ve been thinking since the start of the week, I just want to go out there and do my job and help this team win.

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Joey Chandler can be reached at [email protected]

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