Cory White’s six years of college haven’t gone down the drain. On or off the field.
In the university’s primary function, the FIU tight end will finish his master’s degree in December, a recreation and sports management add-on to his sociology undergraduate degree.
As far as football, White caught his first career touchdown pass Saturday night against Wagner, a 1-yard rollout pass that ended the game’s competitive phase. White earned every ounce of joy he felt at that moment.
A three-star recruit by the University of Miami as a tight end, White redshirted his freshman year in 2009. He got into two games in 2010 and was named UM’s Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year. And then the knee injuries started.
A training camp knee injury eliminated his 2011 season. Subsequent surgeries and rehabilitation on the same knee kept him out of the 2012 season. He transferred to FIU last season and played in all 12 games, starting three. He petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility and got it.
Saturday’s touchdown was his first catch of the season.
Sophomore running back Alfonso Randolph sustained a season-ending knee injury after the third game last season. FIU coach Ron Turner said earlier last week he wanted to get carries for Randolph and Anthon Samuel.
On his first carry since last year’s second game and the first play after FIU’s Demarkus Perkins recovered a fumble, Randolph fumbled the ball away to Wagner. Samuel got into the game during the drive to FIU’s second field goal of the second quarter and returned in the fourth quarter. He dipped around left end and beat the Wagner defense to the pylon for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:17 left in the game.
THIS AND THAT• FIU sophomore tight end Jonnu Smith got one of the few things he didn’t get during his impressive freshman season. Last year’s leading receiver notched his first 100-yard receiving game and the first for FIU since T.J. Lowder did it against Bethune-Cookman last season.
• A fourth-quarter fight between Wagner wide receiver Keith Foster and FIU senior cornerback Randy Harvey resulted in both being ejected. Foster had made a diving catch of a 38-yard pass on Harvey a few plays earlier.
• Look for FIU to be among the national team leaders in average punt-return yardage. Last Saturday, Richard Leonard rolled up 148 yards on five returns, a 29.6-yard average. Leonard took his first punt return back 11 yards, and Clinton Taylor weaved 46 yards with a second-quarter punt.
• In the third quarter, FIU junior defensive end Denzell Perine had to be helped off the field and was carted away. Perine appeared to be limping as he left the field and was grabbing his abdominal area while wincing on the cart.
• Wagner comes with more South Florida ties than you might expect for a FCS school on Staten Island, New York. Three Wagner players — junior Eddie Garcia, fifth-year senior Daniel Mack and senior Deangelo James — graduated from Miami-Dade high schools. Another three — fifth-year senior Brett Buzzard, junior Otis Wright and fifth-year senior Jarrett Dieudonne — are from Broward County.