ATLANTA (BVM) – In 2005, the Atlanta Falcons used a first-round draft pick on Roddy White. Over the ensuing decade, he proved to be more than worthy of the selection, becoming one of the most prolific wide receivers in franchise history.
White became an elite wideout across the NFL, and remained a staple of the Falcons’ offense until his retirement in 2017. Since he left the field, White has still been involved with the game, and remains close to the only NFL franchise he played for.
Roddy White’s high school career
A talented athlete, White played four sports while attending James Island Charter High School in Charleston, South Carolina, including football, baseball, soccer and wrestling. He lettered in all four sports, and became a two-time state champion wrestler.
However, White shined on the gridiron as well as a two-time all-county and all-state performer. He became one of the top wide receivers in the country, and it eventually led him to a college commitment to the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB).
Roddy White’s college career
While at UAB, White became arguably the best wide receiver the Blazers had ever seen. As a freshman, White saw limited action as he caught just 14 balls for 236 yards. But his production increased each year after that, beginning with a strong sophomore season in which he had 580 yards and three touchdowns.
White became a bigger part of the Blazers’ offense in 2003, going for 844 yards and seven touchdowns. As a senior in 2004, White shined with 71 catches, 1,452 yards and 14 touchdowns. This included an impressive 10-catch, 253-yard performance in a midseason game against Tulane.
The star receiver led UAB to its first-ever bowl game in 2004, as the team would fall in the Hawaii Bowl despite White’s 113 yards and touchdown catch.
Overall, he finished his UAB career with 163 catches, 3,112 yards and 26 touchdowns, becoming a clear-cut NFL draft prospect in the process.
Roddy White’s Atlanta Falcons career
White was selected with the No. 27 pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Despite modest numbers in the first two years of his career, White made an impact right away, starting 13 games for the Falcons across the 2005 and 2006 seasons while catching nearly 60 balls for over 950 yards.
Despite it being a drama-filled year for the Falcons, the 2007 season became White’s first breakout year as he caught six touchdowns while racking up over 1,200 yards receiving – the first Falcons receiver to have 1,000 or more yards receiving since 1999. He would go over 1,100 yards receiving in each of the next five seasons, becoming a four-time Pro Bowl selection.
— NFL Legacy (@NFLLegacy) February 23, 2021
After a career-high 1,382 yards in 2008, and a career-high 11 touchdowns in 2009, White bested his career receiving yards mark with 1,389 yards in 2010, and also led the league with 115 receptions, earning first-team All-Pro honors.
White broke the all-time Falcons receptions record in 2011, grabbing 100 catches in total that season with 1,296 yards. Despite not making the Pro Bowl, he was just as good in 2012 with 92 grabs for 1,351 yards and seven touchdowns as the Falcons made it all the way to the NFC Championship game.
— NFL (@NFL) May 2, 2020
Injuries combined with the emergence of new No. 1 receiver Julio Jones led White’s production to fall off a bit over the next few seasons. He only racked up 2,138 yards and 11 touchdowns over the final three years of his Falcons career, but remained an important piece for the franchise.
In March of 2016, White was released by the Falcons. He would sit out that season and officially retire as an Atlanta Falcon during the 2017 offseason. The UAB product finished his 11-year NFL career with impressive numbers including 808 receptions, 10,863 yards and 63 receiving touchdowns. All were franchise records at the time of White’s retirement.
I would like to thank Arthur Blank and the falcons organization for a great 11 years. The city of Atlanta I love y'all so much. I'm (cont…
— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) April 14, 2017
…cont) officially retired from football and welcome the the second phase of my life.
— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) April 14, 2017
Roddy White’s personal life and net worth
White got married to his wife, Katie, in early 2022. White also has five children, and has put an emphasis on spending time with his family in retirement.
Congrats to Roddy White on getting married! 💍 pic.twitter.com/iuUYXANbj1
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) March 9, 2022
Roddy White’s post-playing life
While White’s career may be just short of having a Hall of Fame resume, he has still been honored for his time on the field since retiring. In 2017, the former wideout was inducted into the UAB Athletics Hall of Fame. In December of 2019, White was enshrined into the Falcons Ring of Honor during a game against the Carolina Panthers.
Roddy White thought he was filming a behind the scenes video.
But Matt Ryan & Michael Jenkins had the surprise of a lifetime…
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) June 11, 2019
In 2020, White, alongside actor, musical artist and Atlanta native, Ludacris, partnered with Topgolf as they launched a collaboration with the popular game “Angry Birds.”
White has also begun a construction company in retirement and became the founder of the Roddy White Keep the Faith Foundation.
However, White’s greatest endeavor in retirement has been becoming a coach. Just months after he officially left the NFL, White joined the coaching staff at Johns Creek High School in Georgia. He has continued to teach the game to the next generation, including his sons.
Although he reportedly has no interest in coaching in the NFL someday, White still stays in tune with his former team as well. While it will likely be a rebuilding year in Atlanta, White is optimistic about the Falcons’ chances, and is eager to see the team’s newest high-profile receiver, Drake London.
Roddy White is excited for our team 📈
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) May 24, 2022
While White’s days with the NFL may be done, his legacy with the Falcons will never fade. The UAB product became one of the game’s best wide receivers in the late 2000s, and White will always be a beloved Falcons great.