Patriots: James White getting his college degree is amazing tribute to late father
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots’ crowded running back room figures to be a prominent topic of conversation throughout training camp.
While it remains to be seen who comes out on top for the starting job –2020 breakout star Damien Harris seemingly has a leg up on everybody else — you have to think James White, given his adeptness as a receiver out the backfield, is a lock to play an important role.
As we know, White played with a heavy heart last season, and his courage and locker room presence (on top of his dynamic skillset) earned him a new contract with the Patriots.
For those unaware, we’re referencing the awful tragedy his family endured early in the season.
Back in September, White’s father, Tyrone, died in a car accident that also left the Patriots running back’s mother, Lisa, in critical condition. Though his mother’s condition has steadily improved over time, she’s still working her way back to full strength.
For Patriots fans wondering why we’re reminding them of this gut-wrenching story, there’s actually a reason behind it. Following through on a promise to his parents, White earned his college degree from the University of Wisconsin this week.
A tremendous tribute to his late father and recovering mother.
James White fulfills promise to his parents by getting college degree.
"“My parents always stressed how important it was for me to get my degree,” White said, via uwbadgers.com “Every offseason, they would get on me and ask, am I taking classes? They kept me motivated. My wife, Diana, kept me motivated as well to finish up … It was always at the forefront of my mind.”"
We hate to pull on Patriots fans’ heart strings, but White admitted that his father’s ambition helped him realize the importance of earning a college degree. The late 59-year-old was always researching ways to earn a promotion within the Miami-Dade Police Department, and it was that drive eventually saw him promoted to a captain.
"“I would see how my dad would study for his promotions in the police department,” White continued. “When I was younger, I didn’t realize what he was doing. But as I got older, I realized his dedication to studying and getting those promotions. It was only right I would dedicate myself to finish my work (at the UW).”"
When you consider how traumatizing this experience was for the White family, it’s relieving to know the Patriots star’s father is still impacting their lives in such a positive fashion … though it isn’t all that surprising given how highly White raved about his unrivaled work ethic.
Given these circumstances, and the ineptitude of the Patriots offense, White wasn’t nearly as productive last season compared to his lofty standards.
However, seeing as though the seven-year pro is (to the best of his ability) transforming this tragedy into positive energy — plus taking into account that the Patriots have spent the entire offseason renovating their offense — something tells us White is poised for a big year in 2021.