Rerecruitment Goes Mountaineers' Way

West Virginia thought it had pulled off a coup when it got the signature of Patrick White back in February, but that was just the first part of the battle.

White, who was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the fourth round of the major league baseball draft, was again the target of a recruiting effort. This time, however, the foe wasn't other colleges, but an entirely different sport.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez and assistant head coach Rick Trickett spearheaded visits and information-sharing forays to White's hometown of Daphne, Ala., and the bonds that White had formed with Coach Trickett were one of the big reasons the outstanding signalcaller chose WVU.

"We just love the WVU coaches, and they were wonderful through the entire process," White's father Bo told "Pat thinks the world of Coach Trickett."

The younger White echoed those sentiments, and added that his "love for football" also played a major part in the decision.

Of course, the fact that the Angels' contract offer didn't come very close to the target figure the Whites had set was also part of the decision, but that issue is now in the past. Pat White says that the Angels may come back with another offer next week, but that the decision has been made.

"I'm a Mountaineer," he says with conviction.

Another side benefit to the football angle is that Pat will be close to his older brother, also named Bo, who is a running back at West Liberty State College. Bo, who will be a senior this fall, has rushed for 1213 yards and 7 touchdowns during his career as a Hilltopper.

"It helps having him close," Patrick admitted.

His father is a bit more descriptive.

"Patrick loves and respects his older brother a lot. It was a factor, but in the end the decision was Patrick's. We wanted him to make the decision and do what he wanted, and not do something just to make us happy."

The closeness and the bonds that football players build also had something to do with the choice.

"I have good friends from both football and baseball, but it seems like the guys I am still friends with are the ones I played football with," Patrick observed. "There's 22 guys out there together all doing a job, and you build up a bond with them."

That sort of bond also extends to fan support of schools, which Bo says was obvious from their first visit to the Mountain State.

"We've gotten a number of calls on [the baseball issue]", Bo noted, "but we could tell from when we first went to West Virginia how much the fans love football. The whole town was into it."

Now that Patrick's plans are set, he says he will return to exclusive football workouts. However, that won't be much of a change from his routine in recent weeks.

"I've been doing football workouts the whole time," he said of his routine. "I did add some hitting in, but everything else that I was doing was football. I've still been throwing the ball and doing all my football work."

For the legions of Mountaineer fans who followed this story since White's baseball options became known, that has to be music to their ears.

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