COLUMBIA — Darius White talks about God and Mack Brown in the same breath.
He believes both have played a part in his evolution from lackluster Texas transfer to Missouri starter. Reflecting on his time with the Longhorns, White said he realizes he learned patience under Brown. At Missouri, he's put his faith in God that his patience will pay off.
"When I look back on (transferring), and people think, 'Oh, he (White) left Texas because of Mack Brown — Mack Brown did this, Mack Brown did that' — that's not it at all," White said. "I still talk to Mack Brown, to this day. ... I left because of me. ... I was just being too greedy."
Greed. White said he "expected to play every down" at Texas. That didn't happen, and White said it didn't happen for a reason: God was at work.
White was a highly-recruited prospect, but he's never put up the eye-popping statistics fans might have expected from him. He saw the field in 2013 with Missouri, but in a backup role. This year, heading into his final season, White sits atop the depth chart of a thin receiving corps.
At Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Fort Worth, Texas, White graduated as a Parade All-American and a four-star prospect. Ranked No. 20 overall in the 2010 class by ESPN, White racked up 2,000-plus yards and 35 scores in his final three high school seasons. His college numbers pale in comparison: Over three seasons, White has recorded 13 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He's never been a starter at Missouri.
Per NCAA transfer rules, White sat out the 2012 season after arriving in Columbia. In 2013 he played in each of the Tigers' 14 games, but as a backup behind a pool of productive pass-catchers.
"Last year I still sat behind L'Damian (Washington)," White said. "There was still some of those days where I was upset."
But White said his experience at Texas — and sitting out the 2012 season — bolstered his patience.
Now is his moment.
White could have a chance to substantially contribute to the Tiger offense this season. At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, the senior is one of the bigger targets for new full-time starting quarterback Maty Mauk. And White's got speed to complement his size: He's capable of a running a 4.5 second, 40-yard dash. On paper, he's a threat.
Like White, seniors Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser played supporting roles in 2013, albeit providing a bit more production. But the other receivers are young and green. Further compounding Missouri's lack of depth at wideout is Levi Copelin's suspension for 2014.
And with Marcus Lucas and L'Damian Washington gone and Dorial Green-Beckham dismissed from the team, White topped the depth chart at the Z-receiver position coming out of spring camp.
But can he capitalize on his talents this season? White has faith that he can.
"God puts you in this place and he puts you here for a reason," White said. "And now it's 2014. He put me up there on the pedestal now, he gave me an opportunity — I just got to take advantage of it."