COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Parker White’s career at South Carolina has seen both highs and lows through two years.
The 6-foot-5 redshirt junior placekicker from Mount Pleasant had some struggles as a freshman, but he turned things around during his sophomore campaign. The work he put in during his time with the Gamecocks has given his teammates and his coaches the confidence to trust him at critical points in games to put points on the board. Because of what he’s been able to accomplish, the South Carolina coaching staff rewarded his hard work during Saturday’s Garnet & Black Spring Game.
“It was an easy decision,” said Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp. “He’s won two games for us going out there to kick the final kick of the game. He’s a guy that went through a very up and down first year and fought through that and really needed to clean up some things mechanically, which he did in the offseason, and he had a fantastic year for us last year. Just did a really nice job for us.”
The moment caught White by surprise when the announcement was made at halftime as he celebrated with his family and teammates on the field after the announcement.
“I had a suspicion,” White said. “I talked with (Gamecocks special team coach Coleman) Hutzler before and he let me know that, at some point, they were thinking about using their last remaining one on me. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be in practice or in the summer or fall camp. I had no clue when it was going to be, but going out there for that last one-minute kick, I had a feeling it could be. I tried not to overthink it and just kick the ball and, hopefully, it would happen.”
As rewarding as that moment was for White, his teammates are just as excited to see him earn the scholarship as well.
“It makes me very excited because I know the kind of work he put in,” said Gamecocks quarterback Dakereon Joyner. “I saw the first two inconsistent years that he had, but I know how he works and I’m proud of him.”
“That was awesome seeing how hard he’s worked freshman year, ,” said Gamecocks wide receiver Bailey Hart. “I don’t know how many people know, but he went to the indoor every day and was kicking every day and he wasn’t even on the team. Just seeing that work ethic pay off for him, that was really cool to see.”
Like White, Muschamp was a walk-on at Georgia and he remembered when he earned his scholarship with the Bulldogs. That special moment meant a lot to Muschamp and being able to provide that moment for White was just as rewarding.
“This young man earned his scholarship,” Muschamp said. “We didn’t even name him the starting kicker two years ago and he continued to fight, continued to battle, continued to work on his craft and has been a really good, dependable guy for us.”