April 9, 2009

White jacked for G-Day

Charles White is so excited about Saturday's G-Day Game at Sanford Stadium that he's about to burst from the seams.
He almost can't stand the anticipation.

With good reason:

White redshirted after signing with Georgia out of Blythewood, High School in Columbia, S.C. and was anxiously awaiting the 2008 campaign before a torn Achilles tendon brought the year to a screeching halt.

In fact, it wasn't until the Bulldogs' most recent scrimmage at Sanford Stadium that White was actually able to get his first live contact since the injury but he said even that won't compare to when he steps on the field Saturday afternoon.

"This means everything," White said. "I'm going to cut it loose, play fast and show the world something."

White, who has been working out at both the Mike and Will spots, doesn't feel he has lost a step, but it wasn't until he made that first hit in the scrimmage that he knew he was all the way back.

"That first contact, it definitely felt good to get that out of the way," White said. "Everything was going 100 mph at first, but as you progress, you start to get into that rhythm, and once you get into that rhythm, that zone, you just cut it loose."

Overall, White left the scrimmage relatively pleased with his performance.

His first tackle, which helped bring down Fred Munzenmaier, was the play that helped calm his nerves.

"I made some plays. I was definitely in position," White said. "The best is yet to come."

Head coach Mark Richt was duly impressed.

Richt made it a point to acknowledge White for his effort, one which signaled the end of six months worth of grueling rehab in order to get back on the field.

"After the scrimmage it was a feeling of relief and thankfulness. I give God the glory for that because the injury could have ended my career," White said. 'That was the reality of the situation but I was able to come back from that. It's a huge blessing. I'm extremely excited to be back out there competing and back contributing. It was awesome."

White knows how close he came to seeing his career go right down the tubes.

A damaged Achilles can be one of the tougher injuries for a football player to come back from, but thanks to some tremendous in-house support, he was able to persevere.

"I know anytime you have a serious injury like that, that it's (not being able to returns) always a possibility," White said. "But from Day One, my focus was always 'What's the fastest way for me to get back?' Ron Courson (team trainer), he kept motivating me from the beginning. The coaches, they kept encouraging me. Everybody kept encouraging me."

Ultimately however, White's greatest motivation came from within.

"I just wanted to get back on the field," he said. "The bottom line is I redshirted my first year and my second year I had the injury before my first game so I really haven't had a chance to get on the field. It's just hunger, hunger to get out there and contribute."

That's why, despite the fact he was unable to play, White spent ever minute he could in the film room, paying attention in meetings and watching every detail in practice, even when he was unable to actually play.

His attention to detail has apparently paid off.

"I feel like I hit the ground running. I've tried to stay mentally into it the whole time I was out," he said. "Even when I was watching other people take reps and when I did I just tried to take a mental rep so when it was my turn that I'd be ready to go."

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