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Stampeding The 2014 USF Football Roster - #14 QB Mike White

Today's player is poised to become the face of the Taggart era.

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

#14 QB Mike White
Sophomore, 6'5", 195 lbs.

Stats in 2013: In six games, he completed 93 of 175 passes for 1083 yards and 3 touchdowns, against 9 interceptions. Had a net -43 yards in rushing, due to QB sacks. (Unlike the NFL, sacks count against rushing yardage.)

Where was he on the 2013 Depth Chart: To hell with the 2013 depth chart. This man single-handedly restored our shattered faith in USF football. Let's take one last look at the QB position at South Florida in 2013, before we never speak of it again:

New coach Willie Taggart named Matt Floyd the starter before the season. Floyd was awful in the McNeese State fiasco, and was replaced in the third quarter by senior ex-walkon Bobby Eveld. Eveld went 6-for-25 against Michigan State, and was pulled two drives into the FAU game for Penn State transfer Steven Bench. Though by now it was clear that USF's entire offense was dysfunctional. Bench led a good-looking opening drive vs. Miami, and appeared to have a hold on the position, until he got injured in the Cincinnati game. Eveld returned, was pretty good against Cincinnati, and not very good vs. Connecticut, both games USF won without an offensive touchdown. The Louisville game was over after 20 minutes, and Willie Taggart surprised the 500 fans still around for the fourth quarter by de-redshirting true freshman Mike White for a cameo appearance. White was named starter for a Thursday night game at Houston, and put up a competent performance in what could have been a shocking win, if not for a horseshit offensive pass interference call on Andre Davis. White remained the starter the rest of the season.

How Did He Come to USF: It's quite a story, actually. White received his scholarship offer from USF only a few minutes after he led his high school to a state championship. On the other end of the phone, Willie Taggart was making his first scholarship offer as USF's head coach.

Recruiting Rankings: Rated 3 stars by Rivals and 247 Sports. White's only other I-A offer was Marshall, though bigger schools like Mississippi State showed some late interest.

Projected Playing Time: White and Penn State transfer Steven Bench were locked in a close preseason battle for the starting job. But this battle had a Chad Barnhardt vs. Lance Hoeltke feel to it, where it felt like the guy more suited to the head coach's style would win the job. And he did. White is a pro-style passer better suited to Taggart's offense, did a decent job as a true freshman under trying circumstances, and once again, was the first guy Taggart called to recruit after coming to USF. White enters the season as the starter, though Bench had a very good offseason as well, and Taggart was quick to bring in the hook last season when it was called for.

Fun Fact: Remember Clint Trickett, the Florida State transfer quarterback USF we called a "must-get recruit" before last season? Trickett's stats for West Virginia were only marginally better than White's for USF:

White 93 175 53.1% 1083 6.2 3 9 100.5
Trickett 123 233 52.8% 1605 6.9 7 7 114.6