Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, is the ideal comparison when it comes to describing a young ballcarrier.
So when Sickles High senior Cary White compared his style to Smith's, it showed that the 5-foot-9, 210-pounder is confident in his abilities.
A season after backing up current South Carolina running back Jarvis Giles at Gaither in 2008, White had a breakout season last year at Sickles.
He led the county with 1,594 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 145 yards per game.
On his 223 carries, White fumbled only three times and lost two en route to helping to Gryphons reach the postseason for the third time in school history with a team-best 8-3 record.
"He has a lot of heart. He never gives up and he's very competitive," first-year Sickles coach Brian Turner said. "He runs low to the ground and he's extremely strong. He squats 500 pounds, so he's hard to tackle."
White, who hopes to eclipse 2,000 all-purpose yards this season, said he has improved a great deal since last year.
"I've gotten faster and my agility has improved," he said. "I definitely want to lead the county again."
White rushed for more than 150 yards in a game six times last season. His best performance came in a 41-21 win over Alonso when he ran 19 times for 209 yards and four touchdowns.
At the start of fall practice, Western Kentucky, Florida International and Towson were the only schools to make an offer to White, but Turner expects the list to grow significantly.
"He's low and compact," the coach said. "He looks like an NFL running back at 5-9 and 210 pounds."
Coincidentally, those were the measurements of a certain Hall of Famer.
"Just like Emmitt Smith," Turner said.
STADIUM: Gryphons Stadium, 7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa
CLASS-DISTRICT: 4A-10 (with Boca Ciega, Largo and Leto)
COACH: Brian Turner (first season)
LAST SEASON: 11-3
Sept. 3: Gaither
Sept. 10: at Blake
Sept. 16: Freedom
Sept. 24: at Largo
Oct. 1: Brandon
Oct. 8: at Boca Ciega
Oct. 15: at Durant
Oct. 22: Leto
Oct. 29: at Alonso
Nov. 12: Wharton
No.NamePos.Ht.Wt.Yr.1Bradley DonohoWR5-9150Sr.2Connor PageDB-P5-11185Sr.3Andres VasquezK-P6-0165Jr.4Brieann DollardRB5-11195Sr.5Cary WhiteRB5-9210Sr.6A.K. OlusanyaLB5-10190So.7Lee MyersQB-RB5-9180So.8John Melvin HendrickQB6-0185Sr.10Bryce GoedenLB6-0200Sr.11Adrian LopezWR6-0162Jr.12Bayo FadinaLB6-1185Sr.13Jesse SmithWR5-8155So.14Dalton CofieldWR5-10155Jr.17Mackenzie ParkDB5-9135Jr.18Jorge HernandezWR5-10165Jr.19David RodriguezWR5-6155So.20P.J. VerliniFS5-10175Sr.21Chad FetscherLB6-0185Sr.22Dalton DessiDB5-7140So.23Leo MojicaWR5-8165Sr.24Jordan RobinsonDB5-10180Jr.25Nick GreenRB 5-9175Jr.26Tony ValdezDB5-8155So.30Greg KlineLB5-9165So.33Jonathan EliasRB5-7165So.34Marcos VegaRB5-8215So.37David MancipeDB5-9155Jr.38Marcus JohnsonDL6-1180Sr.40Taylor YoungLB6-0180Jr.42Carlos GambaLB5-9170Jr.44Cameron HeavenridgeLB6-1225Sr.45Haden NagelLB6-0175So.46Austin ClementsLB5-9170So.50Jorge SobaDL6-0235Jr.51David RenakerOL-DL6-3215Sr.54Miles HoodDL5-10220Jr.55Sean SmithOL6-2235Jr.56Jared O'DonaghueOL5-9200So.57Rico NajeraDL6-3195Jr.58Trey WhiteDL5-10280So.59Vincent TrainaDL6-3191Jr.61Brandon RodriguezOL5-10220Jr.64Devin CookOL6-2210Jr.65Michael SantanaOL5-11225Jr.66Dylan StameyOL5-11185Jr.67Frank Marion OL6-3290Sr.70Matt CarwileOL6-4215So.71Matt CunninghamOL5-11250Sr.72Ed DavisOL5-11205Jr.73Matt CalvoOL5-9180Jr.77Zachary HudsonOL6-3230Fr.