White, the Tigers’ all-time passing leader, is back as a graduate assistant working with the receivers. It may seem like a natural fit after throwing to them for three seasons, but it's still an adjustment seeing football through their eyes.
“It’s a good opportunity to learn another position and help those guys as a former quarterback and teammate,” White told The Commercial Appeal. “Memphis is another home away from home for myself and my wife, so it’s good to be back and it feels like I never left.”
Coaching is also something White wants to explore after football. So it made sense to return to the place where he played from 2018-20 after a year of personal changes.
White got married in July and reported back to Memphis after his honeymoon in Greece. He spent the spring and summer with the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits and appeared in four games during the league’s inaugural season.
He's still contracted to play in the USFL next season, but White also wanted to start his next career path while he's free. Coaching runs in his family. His father Deron was both a football and basketball coach, and his grandfather Bill also coached high school basketball.
"I knew the second half of the year was going to be open so I wanted to jump on this opportunity because it's something that I do see myself doing, whether that's real near future or a few years down the road," White said.
White will focus on day-to-day duties with the receivers, including going through game plans. When he's done, he'll also be allowed to sit in on quarterback meetings
He's already made a good first impression with new offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey, who welcomed another voice in the room.
“A wise man — former NFL general manager Bill Polian — once told me you can’t have enough ex-quarterbacks in your program or on your team,” Cramsey said. “So when you can have a quarterback in that wide receiver room talking to them on how a quarterback sees it, that makes a huge difference.”
White, who owns Memphis career records for passing yards, touchdowns and quarterback wins, also built a relationship with quarterback Seth Henigan last season while on the sideline in an informal capacity.
Henigan called White a great dude with a smart football mind. White returned the favor by expecting Henigan will take a significant leap this season as White did in his second year.
“He’s obviously developing physically, getting bigger and stronger, which just helps with availability and sustainability,” White said. “He’s only going to get brighter and sharper and even though there’s new offensive staff members, the offense is very similar to last year.”
Working with the receivers helped White see another side of relationships he had through his career. He was close friends with his receivers in high school and at Memphis with Damonte Coxie, Antonio Gibson, Kedarian Jones and more.
Now it’s learning and being a sponge while also sharing his input. It’s a different perspective but one that White welcomes. The cleats are still ready when called but he's happy planning for his future in familiar territory.
“The next year or two are still yet to be written, so we’ll see what those (plans) are and what comes to be,” White said. “But right now, I’m focused on coaching this team and helping us win some ball games.”
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This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Why former Memphis QB Brady White returned as a graduate assistant