White: Leaner and Quicker

Sophomore running back Manuel White talks about his leaner look, his improved quickness, and his role in the offense as both a tailback and a fullback...

I've heard that you're a pound heavier, but you look leaner...

"Yeah, I did a lot of cardio over the summer. So I think I just leaned down and built more muscle."

Was that your intention?

"I thought I'd lose some weight. But I feel really good at this weight right now. Our strength coach did a good job. He got us ready. I owe a lot to him. So, I'm really happy where I am right now."

How much do you weigh?

"About 240."

Do you feel quicker?

"I feel a lot quicker. I feel a lot more in shape. I always felt good but I really got ready this summer. But I don't think I've ever felt this good."

Have you improved your 40 time?

"The coaches tell me by about two tenths of a second from when I was first here. And I don't want to stop there. I want to get quicker and quicker."

Are you comfortable playing fullback as well as tailback?

"Just being in there, to help the team any way I can is what I want. The position doesn't matter. I just want to get on the field."

How different of a feeling is it – to play fullback than tailback?

"It is different. And I'm getting used to it. I'm getting more and more comfortable with it. I'll be completely ready by the time the season starts. That's what I'm shooting for."

How are you handling the new leadership role?

"My biggest thing is to talk and be positive. You're out here on double days and its strenuous and I just want to be positive to my teammates. I've always been a leader by example guy. I'm not much of a vocal person on the field, but I think it's important to be positive."

How are you supporting the freshmen?

"In the past you had guys pick on the freshmen. Not really big stuff. Just carry their helmets or whatever. But when I was a freshman I didn't like that. So, I'm trying to support them, show them that this is fun and that we're a family. Let them feel comfortable."

What do you think your chances are starting at tailback?

"I'm not really concerned about it right now. As long as I get the opportunity to play, I don't care in what role and when I go in. I just want to get on the field. Akil and I bring different strengths to the table. I think whatever they need at the time, that's what they're going to go with. I'm not too concerned about it."

Do you think the experience you got from last year will help this year?

"I feel a lot more comfortable with everything. Last year I made some rookie mistakes. I'm glad I played last year, because now I come in with a different mentality. Not so overwhelmed and a lot more comfortable."

There have always been comments that you might be out of position at tailback, that you're too big...

"I love it when people say that. I use it as motivation. There are always going to be haters around. They can say what they want, but I'll use it as motivation."

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