Healthy and happy, White-Frisbee embraces change
The former Inglemoor standout defensive lineman is finally recovered from two foot surgeries and is finding success on the Huskies' offensive line.
"It's crazy being here," the senior guard says, referring to the weekly press conference that takes place on each Monday of a game week. "I've never been invited to anything like this."
The Monday press conference is for Tyrone Willingham, quarterback Jake Locker, and a handful of other starters asked to come by the school's sports information department. And as for White-Frisbee? Let's just say these Monday outings weren't part of his schedule the past few years.
"Normally around this time I'm taking a nap," White-Frisbee joked.
After adjusting to a switch from the defensive line to offensive line, and after finally getting healthy after three surgeries on his right foot, White-Frisbee is now listed as the Huskies' starting left guard. In his final year at Washington, the Inglemoor High School graduate hopes to have the type of season that could make him a regular at the Monday press conferences.
"It's very rewarding," White-Frisbee said of his climb to the top of the depth chart. "Finally after all of this, all of the surgeries and setbacks, finally now I can move past it and do something that I want to do."
White-Frisbee came to Washington full of size and potential, and started eight games at defensive tackle as a freshman. A foot injury the following spring led to surgery, and a poor approach to rehabbing the injury forced a second surgery a few months later.
"I was kind of stupid with the first one," he recalled. "Two days after surgery, I felt fine and was walking on it. Not being a very smart guy. After the second one, they were like, 'You've got to take better care of yourself. You could be done if you do it again.'"
White-Frisbee wasn't done with foot problems, however, and required a third surgery on the same foot in 2006. He was eventually moved to the offensive line because it would be easier on his foot, and broke into the rotation last season after playing only three games in 2006, all on special teams. Last year, he started one game at left guard, two at right guard, and was a regular on special teams.
At 6-foot-5, 368-pounds, White-Frisbee has a chance to have a big impact despite his relative inexperience.
"He can be as good as he wants to be," said offensive coordinator Tim Lappano. "He can be as good as anybody in this league. Physically and athletically he is, and if he will utilize his technique on game day, the sky is the limit for that kid, because he has all the tools; the athleticism, the strength, the size, he's got it. He's got to utilize his technique, one play at a time, and he could be fun (to watch)."
As for the foot problems -- his left foot required surgery while in high school -- White-Frisbee says he's as healthy as he's going to be, but can still frequently be seen walking around barefoot with an ice bag on each foot.
"It'll always hurt," he said.
Despite the lingering pain, White-Frisbee thinks his senior year can be his best as a Husky. He talks about being an impact player and about getting the Huskies back to a bowl game. Washington's coaches also believe White-Frisbee can be a difference maker in 2008.
"The things that he brings to the table as far as his toughness and the aggressive way that he goes about playing the game and the fact that he's a big man and he can move people around in there, those are probably the strongest things he brings," said offensive line coach Mike Denbrock, who also praised White-Frisbee's improvement learning the position. "He's got every conceivable tool that you look for as an offensive line coach in somebody that's going to help you run it and throw it."
Those tools could help White-Frisbee and the Huskies do better things this season.
He might just need to get used to missing a few more Monday naps.
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.