February 28, 2017 – Happy Birthday Brent White

Michigan Football Team 1989 | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Brent White is pictured here with the 1989 Michigan Football team – the last team of the Bo Schembechler Era. White is seated in the second row – seventh man from the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical library.

The purpose of today’s post is to wish “Happy Birthday” to Michigan Man Brent White. Brent White was born on this day in enemy territory – Ohio! Somehow, Bo out-recruited Ohio State, Michigan State and some other schools to land this talented high school football star.

Brent White arrived in Ann Arbor in 1985. He burned his red-shirt as a true freshman and spent a lot of time trying to get stronger and gain some weight. As the excellent MGoBlog article below explains, White became a “project” for Michigan’s Strength Coach, Mike Gittleson. With a lot of help from Coach “G,” Brent White did the work and went from 220 pounds to 248 pounds by the time he was starting for Bo in 1988.

The super-quick White became super-strong by the time Mr. Gittleson was finished with him. He was one of the fastest defensive lineman to ever play for Bo. He Made 31 tackles in 1988 and 30 more in 1989 even though he faced a lot of double-team blocking. Brent White finished his career with 80 career tackles (63 solo and 17 assists), 3 pass breakups and 1 fumble recovery.

Brent White 1989 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Brent White (#88) and teammate Alex Marshall (#59) zero in on a Purdue runner in 1989. Ouch is about to happen! Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

The teams that Brent White played on from 1986 to 1989 posted an overall record of 38 wins, 10 losses, and 1 tie. More importantly, they finished with a record of 27 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie in Big Ten play which was good enough to claim 3 conference championships. During Brent’s time at Michigan, the Wolverines won three bowl games and lost two. They also posted a record of 14-6 against Michigan’s “rivals.”

So, Brent White had a very good run at Michigan. He made 14 starts at defensive tackle, and earned 4 varsity letters. He was also part of some notable Wolverine football “firsts.”

  • In 1985 White was on the first, and only, team that beat all four rivals (Notre Dame, Minnesota, Michigan State, and Ohio State) in the same season during the Bo Era.
  • Was on Bo’s first, and only, Fiesta Bowl championship team in January 1986. (Note-that team also finished 2nd in the nation at the end of the year which was the first, and only, time a Schembechler team was ranked that high at the end of the season.)
  • Brent White played in Michigan’s first Hall of Fame Bowl win over Alabama in January 1988.

Bottom line – there aren’t too many Michigan football players who were fortunate enough to enjoy the success that Brent White experienced at Michigan. He was another highly recruited player who became a champion, just like Bo promised! Happy Birthday Brent White. Thanks for your outstanding contributions to Michigan Football. Hail to the Victors and Go Blue!

To read more about Brent White go to the links below:

http://mgoblog.com/diaries/tbt-catching-brent-white

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1989fbt.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Michigan_Wolverines_football_team

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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