Lendale White: Forever 21

Lendale White is a changed man. Showing up at Titans camp slimmer and with a new attitude, the former Trojan says he’s finally grown up. He weighed in at 238, which is 20 pounds lighter than his camp arrival a year ago. And he’s looking to shed more than the excess body baggage, wanting to strip himself of the jersey No. 25 as well.

White wore the No. 21 at USC, and that number is currently issued to Tennessee cornerback Reynaldo Hill, who isn’t likely to resign with the team. Though it will be costly, having to compensate the league and Reebok for the switch, he’s willing to dig into his pocket to own those digits again. I’m not sure of the exact dollar amount, but remember, Chad Johnson legally changed his name to Ocho-Cinco last year, but wasn’t willing to reimburse the uniform manufacturer for the “Johnson” jerseys already prepped for sale, so he never went with the new name on his back.  Likewise, Lendale White No. 25 jerseys are already hanging on racks at retail locations, and all will be rendered useless after he appears on the field in his new number.

White admits his work ethic was poor, not pushing himself to be in top shape and at the top of his game.  And the Titans may have acquired a motivational tool, with the selection of Michigan State running back Javon Ringer in the recent draft. Ringer was the Spartans’ workhorse, and they rode him to several victories. If Lendale wants to continue to play a significant role in the Tennessee’s “smash and dash” backfield, he’ll have to stay two steps ahead of the rookie and leave his weight behind.

Lendale weighed 261 pounds last October, when he took a hand off and went 80 yards for a touchdown against the Chiefs, which is by far his best professional highlight. But as leaner No. 21 of the Trojans Thunder and lightning backfield, he gave us so much more.


~ by Anthony on May 8, 2009.

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