White Ready to Run

Between classes, baseball and moving, James White, much like his football career at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), has been nonstop since signing his national letter of intent to play football at Wisconsin. Now on campus and ready to start UW's summer conditioning program, White is finally able to focus on taking his game to the next level.

MADISON - Since signing his national letter of intent, James White was no different than most future Wisconsin athletes. He studied his playbook, he got new clothes and furniture and prepared for a new chapter in his football career.

But while most kids had a couple weeks to balance high school, preparing and working out, White, like most other things he does on the football field, had to go quick … eight days to be exact.

After advancing to the state semifinals in baseball, White had limited time to get back into playing condition in preparation for Wisconsin's first organized summer workouts that now include the 2010 recruiting class.

"I had to hit the weight room hard, sometimes working out twice a day so I would be in shape when I got here," White told Badger Nation. "I have a speed coach that I would go to at eight in the morning, then go home and get some rest and then go back at four in the afternoon. It's a program that works out NFL players that got me a lot stronger and get me back into football mode."

Arriving in Madison on Friday, White and the roughly 29 other new members will be in football mode the rest of the summer, going through physicals yesterday in preparation for their first organized summer workout this afternoon.

The adjustment for White, a three-star running back by Scout.com that picked Wisconsin over Clemson, Michigan State and N.C. State, from baseball to football started with strength and regaining some of the lightening speed he displayed in the backfield for St. Thomas Aquinas High in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

For his career, White, a first-team all-country selection as a senior, rushed 319 times for 2,568 yards and 38 touchdowns and made 65 catches for 473 yards and eight touchdowns. The last eight days have seen White regain some of the stamina that had escaped him during a baseball season when the most strenuous thing he did was run the bases.

"I didn't want to come to Madison looking weaker," White said.

White, who will where number 20, didn't want to be unprepared either, especially when he had the Wisconsin playbook sitting on his table since the end of winter. Noticing that the UW roster is devoid of a speedy change-of-pace running back, White focused on getting a jump on the plays that could provide an instant boost for UW's backfield.

"I've been studied the playbook when I haven't had schoolwork to do … and there are a lot of running plays where you get to hide behind those big 6-foot-8, 300-pound lineman," White said with a laugh. "I feel pretty prepared, and hopefully I'll be able to get more prepared when the season comes around by working out this summer. If I have to, I'll wait my turn and redshirt if I have to redshirt, but I just want to compete with everybody."

For the time being, White is adjusting to college life. Without a car, White and his roommate, Monsignor Pace wide receiver Isaiah Williams, have bonded with other Florida recruits – Peniel Jean and Jameson Wright – as they try to learn their way around.

"It feels good to just get in and start adjusting to different weather and a new campus," White said. "It's been a pretty smooth transition. Hopefully, I can take my game to the next level up here."

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