Jeris White is Centurians #10

Before going to Radford High, Jeris White was born in Texas and talked about how he played 2 years of Texas high school football:
“I learned to be very mean on the football field.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Then he came to Radford and learned life lessons from legends John Velasco and Jim Alegre. Wrestling coach Bob Frey, who ran Rams football players into the ground the day after games, taught him the importance of conditioning. Those 100-yard sprints are with him still. In the spring of his senior year, Dave Holmes called, then came over and talked to his mother and father, offered a full ride for four years. White thinks there may have been a couple of jucos after him too, but UH was the only four-year school to show any interest. He accepted. He would play for UH.”

About how he played in a Hawaii-California all-star football game before he entered UH, White said:
“I think they had it one time, and I played in it. Lynn Swann was on the California team.” (HSB)

HSB Note: ‘In the week of practices he caught everyone’s eye. College coaches asked him where he was going. Hawaii, he said. People told him he should go to the mainland instead. He was too good. If things didn’t work out, he could always come back home.”

About how all week during the all-star week local people told him to play for a mainland school, White said:
“You’re always whining about guys who are good who go to the mainland and you’re telling me to do that?” (HSB)

About his secondary coach at UH, Dick Zornes, White said:
“He taught me how to play corner. He was technically just sound.” (HSB)

About the importance of being technically sound, White said:
“I didn’t realize that at the time.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “But they worked, and worked, and worked. And at the end of his freshman season, the pros started sending him letters.”

About how he never realized that he had a chance to play professionally until he found out that the NFL was scouting him, White said:
“I just thought that that was the … Oh!” (HSB)

HSB Note: “The joy rushes through his body even now.”

HSB Note: “The Rainbows were really, really good in those days. Holmes went 46-17-1 and never had a losing season. In his junior and senior years White paired with fellow Centurion Hal Stringert — White still calls him Harold — and they might have been the best corner tandem in the country, bar none. They both got drafted, both played in the pros, and at UH they shut people down.”

About teammate Hal Stringert (the player that started at the other CB spot), White said:
“Harold was a great player and was very smooth, very good technique. No matter what you write about me, make sure you say Harold was a great player. We played together.” (HSB)

About a practice confrontation with teammate Golden Richards, White starts the story with:
“I’m crazy. I’m not going to lie, I was crazy.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “His senior season, 1973, Hawaii beat Washington, 10-7, at Washington, in what is one of the epic upsets — and still in the conversation as perhaps the all-time biggest win — in school history. But apparently this was not the big deal to them that it is to us. This is just what they did, in those days.”

About beating Washington, White said:
“We had Larry Price as defensive coordinator, were we going to wilt? I mean, my gosh. Who do you want to go back to?” Do you want to go back and take another shot at the big-time, big-conference players in front of you? Or do you want to face Larry Price? Larry didn’t play.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “And so, the Rainbows didn’t wilt. Harold had three interceptions, Levi Stanley had 16 tackles, Hawaii held on fourth down five times and UH beat Washington.”

HSB Note: “Hawaii would finish 9-2 that season (and climb as high as No. 2 in the small-college poll) and White graduated in four years and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He stayed with the Dolphins for three seasons, then three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (he was a starter on the Bucs team that finally won, and made the NFC championship game), and then it was time to move on again. White was back at UH when he ran into Redskins GM Bobby Beathard (Beathard had scouted him for Miami). White suggested the Redskins trade for him, and laughed. But then the Redskins did. White was a starter for the Washington team that won Super Bowl XVII. It was his last year in the game.”

HSB Note: “He lives in Washington, D.C., now. White works for Noblis, a firm that does technology consulting for government agencies like the Department of Transportation.”

About how when he retires he’d like to return to Hawaii to mentor young football players and work on a PhD in philosophy at UH, White said:
“No better place to study that than Hawaii, where East meets West.” (HSB)


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