Today is a great day to remember a Wolverine called J. T. White. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, John T. “J.T.” White was born on this day in 1920 at Wadley, Georgia. However, John grew up in River Rouge, Michigan where he became a star athlete. When it came time to continue his education and his football, J. T. went to the “Dark Side” and enrolled at Ohio State!
J. T. White played for a guy named Paul Brown at OSU. White won a letter on the National Champion Buckeye team of 1942. He also played for the Buckeyes in 1943 before being called to serve in the military during World War II.
After the war, J. T. saw the “light” and enrolled at Michigan to play with his brother, Paul, who captained the 1943 Michigan team for five games before being called to military duty. Paul probably had a lot to do with J. T.’s decision to finish his career at Michigan. Interestingly, both were starters on the 1946 Michigan Football team.
The White brothers made significant contributions to Fritz Crisler’s team in 1946. Paul started 3 games at right halfback and J. T. started 6 games at center. Michigan posted a final record of 6 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie in 1946.
After Paul’s graduation, J. T. was on his own in 1947 and he did just fine! J. T. White started 8 games at center for Michigan in 1947. Of course, the Wolverines finished the season with a perfect record of 10-0-0. Michigan won the Big Nine Championship, the national championship and the Rose Bowl. J. T. earned second team All-American honors for his stellar play in 1947.
So, J. T. White has a very unique place in college football history. He is the only man to play on a National Championship team at Ohio State and Michigan. In addition to that he is also connected to some other interesting Michigan Football “firsts.” Check them out:
- J.T. White played on Paul Brown’s first, and only, National Championship team in 1942. It was also the first National Championship for Ohio State.
- White played on Fritz Crisler’s first, and only, National Championship team in 1947.
- J. T. White played in the first televised game in Michigan Football history in 1947 on September 27, 1947 against Michigan State. The Wolverines clobbered Biggie Munn’s Spartans by a score of 55-0 – ouch!
- White played in the first ever game against Southern California in January 1948. Michigan won 49-0.
Today is a good day to remember a Buckeye-Wolverine named John T. “J. T.” White. Mr. White went on to enjoy a very successful career in coaching. He lived a long and successful life that ended on November 21, 2005 at the age of eighty-five. All I can say is “Thanks” for “Greatest Generation” men like J. T. White. May he always rest in eternal peace. Go Blue!