A standout at the University of Tennessee, where he set records for sacks in a career, season and game, respectively, Reggie White was chosen by the Memphis Showboats in the 1984 USFL Territorial Draft, and the opportunity to play pro ball in the same state where he went to college was enough enticement to get "The Minister of Defense" to sign with the 'Boats. 

While the Showboats didn't set the USFL world afire over its two seasons (making a playoff appearance in 1985 but falling one win short of the USFL Championship Game), White did, recording 23 1/2 sacks and 192 tackles while forcing 7 fumbles.  When the Showboats sank, White went on to the NFL and the Philadelphia Eagles, where in each of his 8 years there he recorded at least 11 sacks - including 21 in 1987 and another 18 in 1988.  Leaving the Eagles to sign a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers for 1993, White continued accumulating sacks and awards, helping guide the Packers to a pair of NFC titles and a win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.

Retiring from the game after the 1998 season, White returned at the age of 38 to play his final season for the Carolina Panthers.  Even at his advanced age for a football player, he started each of the team's 16 games, recording 5 1/2 sacks to bring his career total to 221 1/2.  Destined for enshrinement in Pro Football's Hall of Fame, sadly he would not live to receive the honor in person.  On December 26, 2004, White suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, a product of an immune system disorder he suffered known as sarcoidosis.  During the 2005 season the Packers and Eagles each retired his #92, as did the University of Tennessee, and the following February White was elected to Canton.  He was formally enshrined on August 5, 2006, where wife Sara and son Jeremy delivered a moving acceptance speech.


Memphis Showboats


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