2010 Intro: Tamari White

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --- Pound-for-pound, there might not be a tougher player in the state of North Carolina than Tamari White.

"I've been coaching since I got out of the service in '86 and Tamari White is one of the toughest kids I've ever coached," Blick said. "… He has never missed a practice, never missed a game. He doesn't complain [and] he had some injuries. He's just a tough kid that's going to be there play after play."

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White's toughness was epitomized late last season when he unknowingly cracked a rib. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound tailback remained on the field and proceeded to play out the last three games of the season.

"He never missed a beat [and] he never complained," Blick said. "It was like ‘Tamari, are you all right?' ‘Yep, Coach.' He's that type of guy – he's going to be out there."

Weeks after the season concluded, it was finally discovered that White had cracked one of his ribs.

White's toughness originates from his background.

"He's hungry," Blick said. "He comes from nothing. His mom was murdered when he was two, three [years old] so his grandma has raised him. My wife makes him breakfast and lunch everyday – he comes from that sort of home situation. He's had authority figures tell him he's never going to amount to anything. But he'll be the first person in his family to go to college."

White's toughness also shows in the weight room. He bench presses 340 pounds and maxes out at 405 pounds on the parallel squat.

"A college weight coach is going to love Tamari White – he's a warrior in the weight room," Blick said. "He's one of those kids that doesn't say a whole lot, but he brings it."

In a Pro-I offense last fall, White was used as a workhorse tailback receiving 30-35 carries a game. He accumulated 1,368 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"He's the guy you want to put the ball in his hands," Blick said.

Additionally, White played a little defense last season. In long-yardage situations at key moments during the game, he was plugged into White Oak's secondary.

Defense was where White first started for White Oak. After spending his freshman season on junior varsity, he landed the starting outside linebacker position as a sophomore.

That same season, Adrian Williams, who is now playing for UNC-Pembroke, was the star of White Oak's offense. White would spell Williams several times a game to keep him fresh. And when Williams missed two games with an injury, White started for White Oak.

With limited opportunities, White ended his sophomore season with 600 yards and four scores on the ground.

When Williams graduated following the 2007 season, the starting tailback role naturally was given to White.

"I spent the offseason working hard [and] getting my team ready to play," White said.

This fall, Blick plans to revolve the offense even more around White.

"We're going to try to feature him as much as possible," Blick said. "He's got great hands and he's got great feet. We're going to run a little zone and give him the football where he can use his vision and make a play."

Recruiting has been steady thus far for White. Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, and Vanderbilt are all recruiting him.

"Some schools have high interest in me, but it might depend on how I do this fall," White said.

Duke and NC State are recruiting White the hardest. Both schools invited him to their respective junior days and he attended both.

For the last couple of summers, White has attended NC State's camp. In addition to returning to NC State, he plans to camp at Duke, East Carolina, UNC and NC State this summer.

Familiarity has White, who attended three football games last fall at NC State, favoring the Wolfpack.

"I've been to the campus, I've met the coaches, and it's a real nice school," White said. "I can see myself in that program. So right now, that's my primary school that I would like to attend."

Tamari White Profile

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