White declares for NFL draft

Trojan junior running back LenDale White announced today that he will be leaving USC and entering the 2006 NFL draft.

This is not a major surprise as LenDale has long giving indications that he could be leaving school early and he becomes the first Trojan underclassman this year to declare for the draft. There are several other USC players expected to announce their decisions in the coming days including Reggie Bush, Darnell Bing and Winston Justice.

The loss of White means the Trojans will head into next season without one of the best big running backs the school has ever seen. LenDale combined size with instinctual running ability and the results on the field speak for themselves. He leaves USC with 3,159 career rushing yards along with 57 rushing touchdowns (most ever at the school known as Tailback U, also a Pac-10 conference record). This season alone LenDale had 26 touchdowns, the most in the NCAA this year.

LenDale was known as "Thunder" in the running back duo of "Thunder and Lightning" that he formed with Reggie Bush and his good natured, easy going personality made him a favorite among teammates and fans during his time at the university.

LenDale chose the Trojans over Texas after a prep All-American career at Chatfield HS in Colorado and it didn't take him long to make an impact. In his fourth game as a freshman, on the road against ASU with an injured Matt Leinart at QB, White ran for 140 yards with a pair of touchdowns as he provided the key difference in the win. Last year against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl he also ran for over 100 yards despite missing most of the bowl practice sessions with an ankle injury. This season, he led the way in the comeback win against ASU with a strong second half performance and then in the Rose Bowl loss to Texas he went for 124 yards and three touchdowns in his final performance as a Trojan.

White is expected to be a first round pick in the draft.

Q&A with Trojan verbal commit LenDale White from January 2003

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