That was the opportunity Aaron White needed.
The Curry quarterback shined in the new offense, leading the Yellow Jackets to the state playoffs for the first time in nine years.
The positives didn’t stop there for White. He will continue his career at the next level. White signed a letter-of-intent with Reinhardt (Ga.) University recently. He will be part of the college’s first ever football program beginning in the fall.
At Curry, White was a dual-threat quarterback. He was second on the team with 588 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He also threw for 1,500 yards and eight touchdowns.
“We are tickled that he’s going to continue his career,” Curry coach Shay Oliver said. “He is one of a very low percentage that get to keep playing football and continue their education. What he got from Reinhardt is unbelievable. We’re talking $25,000 per year for the next four years.
White (6-foot, 185 pounds) made a visit to Reinhardt, located in Waleska, Ga., in February.
“They called coach (Oliver) and wanted me to come for a visit. I sent them film and they liked me. When I went for the visit, they said ‘Here’s what we are going to offer you. You can sign now.’ I didn’t hesitate,” White said. “I liked the campus. It’s kind of like (Curry). It’s small-town Georgia. It reminds me of home.
“I was the first quarterback they signed. The coach said if I do what they think I can do, maybe I’ll become the starter. Of course there will be a competition so I will have to work extra hard.”
With White under center last season, Curry had one of its best seasons in a decade, opening the year 4-0 and knocking off Cordova in the regular-season finale to earn a spot in the playoffs.
“I figured we would have a pretty decent season. Thanks to my teammates and us wanting to get that goal of making the playoffs, it was an amazing season for me,” White said.
“We ran the Wing-T my junior year and I wasn’t able to shine that much. When we made the change to the spread offense, I was able to break loose.”
White said Curry’s 28-20 win over West Point stood out in 2011.
“It was a grudge match. We were down 20-6 at the half. We came out in the second half. We never let up and came back to beat them,” he added.
Though Curry dropped five straight games after its perfect start, the Yellow Jackets rebounded to knock off Cordova 38-28 in the finale. Curry lost to Etowah in the first-round of the playoffs.
The five wins was the most for Curry since the 1996 season. Oliver said White was a key to that success.
“He ran the team. We’ve got other playmakers, but the ball was in his hands every play. We had a lot of success, more success than we’ve had in a while, and he was a big part of that,” Oliver said.
White is the second Curry senior to sign to play at the collegiate level. Oliver’s son, Cade, signed with UNA in February.
“Having two kids who signed in one year is something to be proud of. We’ve turned it up a notch and our juniors are more excited than ever. They want to get back to where we were last year. Maybe that’s something that’s going to continue to grow. That’s what we hope,” Oliver said.
White said he enjoyed his team playing for Oliver at Curry. “I love coach Oliver. He treats us all like his own sons. There are no favorites,” White said.
Reinhardt is an NAIA school. The Eagles’s football teams begins play in the Mid-South Conference for the 2013 season. Faulkner University in Montgomery is also part of the conference.