Chris Willis: How do you stay focused on conditioning throughout the off-season?
Jordan White: When you’ve got the main goal at hand, and that’s winning as many games as you can during the season, if you don’t condition you’re gonna come into camp not at your peak. Then you’re gonna go into the season not at your peak. You really can’t afford to take any time off, especially in May, even though that’s supposed to be our month off. A lot of guys come back and work out. In June in July we start our lifting programs and then we start our conditioning so we can come out in our best shape during camp.
CW: Last season you surpassed Greg Jennings in a few receiving categories in the WMU record books, do you have your eyes set on any accolades this upcoming season?
JW: It’s really great and all to surpass Greg’s record, but you know I really don’t have a MAC (Mid-American Conference) ring to show for it. I’d rather have a MAC Championship ring and half of the catches I had last year. But that’s the only accolade I have my eyes set on this year.
CW: What type of performance do you expect out of Alex Carder at quarterback in his second full season as a starter?
JW: He surpassed my expectations last year. He was only a first year starter last year and to be able to do the stuff he did and with the ability that he has? He’s surpassed what any of us thought. This year I’m looking forward to him doing the same thing except more-so. He’s become more experienced and even coming up with Tim Hiller over the years and going against defenses, Alex has done enough. He’s played as good as he can and he’s gonna get another 12 games under his belt. Using his experience will just help him to improve his ability this year.
CW: Last season defenses had a tough time keying in on the one receiver since you and Juan (Nunez) were essentially both ones, will it be tougher on you to get open without him on the other side?
JW: Juan was a great receiver and it’ll be tough losing him, but we’re going to have other guys stepping up like Rob Arnheim, who’s been the most reliable receiving guy since he’s been here. Even when myself of Juan were injured, Rob’s been healthy and you can always count on him. Also, we’ve got (Ansel) Ponder and some of the younger guys that are gonna step up and we’ve got five freshman coming in and I’ve see nothing but good from them so we’ll see how it goes.
CW: Will the experience of playing at the Big House two years ago on Opening Day help with team psyche going into this years’ opener there?
JW: I didn’t play in it, but I was there on the sidelines so I got a bit of a taste. I think for the most part as long as we come in and calm the young guys down, we’ll be fine. It’ll just help them to realize what college football really is. After they’ve played at Michigan Stadium I guess every other stadium after that should be small in comparison.
CW: Does the inexperience of the offensive line worry you at all coming into the season?
JW: I wouldn’t say it worries me at all. We’ve got a good coach in Ricker. He’s done a great job of coming in during the spring to get these young guys moving. He’s expecting nothing but the highest output that these guys can give and he’s not taking crap from players. He’s lively out on the field. He’s a 110 percent coach and if you’re not doing your job he’s gonna express that and let you know it. He’s getting these young guys going. Especially Travis Turner incoming, Anthony Parker’s little brother looks pretty good and John Jackson from the Detroit area. Coach Ricker is gonna whip these guys into shape, so by the time Michigan comes I don’t think we should have a problem.
CW: How far can the team go this season and what are your expectations?
JW: The same thing I say every year. Without the fine-tuning mistakes we’ve been good. I think we can win it all. It’s been a problem. Look at last year, we took Northern Illinois down to the wire and should’ve won that game right there in the fourth quarter. We should’ve beat Central, but we left the ball on the four-yard line deep in the fourth quarter. Those two games right there would’ve had us in a different direction and if would could capitalize on these missed opportunities we’ve have a better chance.
CW: That being the case, what is the biggest obstacle the team needs to overcome from last season?
JW: I would just say being mentally tough down the line. Some of the mistakes we make kill us. Not being mentally tough we shoot ourselves in the foot. It could be a holding call, or jumping off-sides, or me not catching a ball. Even at the Idaho game, I dropped a touchdown and caught another out of bounds, so even I can do more to help the team be more mentally tough. We need to just finish teams in the end.
CW: The starting running back position seems to be up in the air, any idea who the starter will be?
JW: I couldn’t tell you, everybody is looking good. We’ve got Brain Fields and Tevin Drake that played a lot last year to create themselves. I know that Aaron (Winchester) was injured most of the year with his groin and he’s still working hard out there as well. He’s gonna give it all he has. A bunch of backs are good and Antoin Scriven too. They’re all good and that’s why they all play.
CW: How important is it to beat CMU?
JW: It’s probably more important to me than it’s ever been before. It means a lot to the University and the Alumni. Especially this year to me, because I’ve been here five years and I’m going on my sixth year and people don’t get to stay at the university in six years. And for me I haven’t beaten them in five, so let alone six years. I’ve never beat them personally and I definitely need at least one win for myself against them. I think being the third game of the season that will just start the ball rolling if we beat Central, WHEN we beat Central I’ll say for the rest of the season.
White was added to the Biletnikoff Award watch (Nation’s best receiver) for the upcoming season.
He enters his final season in the Brown & Gold with 2,276 receiving yards, 166 catches and 15 career touchdowns. Last season White passed SBXLV Champion, Greg Jennings, single-season yards mark with 1,378.
He was also first-team All MAC, and got an honorable mention as an All-American in Sports Illustrated.