Missouri’s Darius White hopes to fulfill potential

08/15/2014 5:34 PM

08/15/2014 5:34 PM

Missouri senior Darius White always figured he’d be a star.

White was ranked as the No. 6 wide receiver prospect in the class of 2010 by Rivals as a senior at Dunbar High School in Fort Worth, Texas.

The recruiting service declared White, who originally signed with Texas, as the 41st-best player in the nation regardless of position that season.

He’s yet to live up to that promise in the college ranks.

“Coming out of high school, I’m not trying to be cocky, but I was a top receiver coming out,” White said. “I was used to playing every play, every down. Coming out of high school, I’m still a young cat and not thinking, but all I had to do was be patient. If I would have been patient, I probably would still be there (at Texas). But everything happens for a reason.”

White, who drew comparisons in high school to Bengals three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green, caught six passes for 71 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown against Texas Tech, in two seasons with the Longhorns.

Fed up with a lack of playing time, White transferred after the 2011 season to Missouri, where he made seven catches for 76 yards with a touchdown last season after sitting out 2012.

Now, White, who is penciled it as the Tigers’ starter at the Z receiver, realizes 2014 represents his best (and last) chance to cash in on all his potential — and he’s determined to make the most of it.

“I’ve been trying to take it in every day and treat every practice like an opportunity,” White said. “I have the mind-set that I need to practice hard and get all my plays down, run every route full-speed. When I’m tired, I work on my fundamentals. I try to tell myself that every day.”

The last four years have humbled White — leaving Texas, playing on Missouri’s scout team, then seeing limited game action with the second string as a junior — but he’s remained patient and hopes it all pays off.

“I don’t ever try to question God or ask him why,” White said. “I just ask him to put me in the right place at the right time. So, last year was another experience where I had to be patient and another humbling experience, but now it’s 2014. I’m up on the first team, so it’s my time. … Sometimes you have to wait for your opportunity. Now, that opportunity has arrived. I’ve got to take advantage of it.”

For White, 2014 is his money season. He isn’t shy about declaring that either, ending many tweets with the hashtag, #MoneySeason.

“When we’re out here on the field, this is where you’re going to get your money at,” White said, explaining the hashtag’s meaning. “On Saturdays and in practice, this is where you’re going to get your money at. I’m just trying to put money in the bank every day. That’s all that is.”

Quarterback Maty Mauk is one of White’s biggest supporters and has been on board with #MoneySeason since January.

“Since the day after the Cotton Bowl last year, he’s been on me and I’ve been on him,” Mauk said. “He’s always wanting to get better. … It’s been money season since the end of last year, and we’re going to continue it.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @todpalmer.

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