Reggie White was the greatest defensive player in the USFL, and is considered the greatest defensive lineman in NFL history — recording 198 sacks and making 13 consecutive Pro Bowls.
Known as the “Minister of Defense,” White was the face of the Memphis Showboats before establishing himself in the NFL as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. An All-American and SEC Player of the Year out of the University of Tennessee, White rattled USFL offenses with 23 ½ sacks and 193 tackles during his two years in the spring league.
White was the third member of the USFL to be selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006 (Jim Kelly and Steve Young preceded). No USFL player had a greater impact on the NFL landscape than White.
“Reggie was one of the kindest and gentlest men I ever met in my life, but as an opponent, he changed the complexion of the game the way Lawrence Taylor did,” Joe Morris said, who faced White twice a year as a member of the New York Giants. “I would run opposite of where he was. I remember an offensive lineman hyperventilating before a game against the Eagles.”
Former Generals and Giants fullback Maurice Carthon, remembers Reggie’s first game against the Giants in 1985:
“Our offensive coordinator, Ron Erhart, said, ‘I don’t know what the fuss is about this guy, he isn’t that good.’” After the coaches meeting before the game, Carthon told his teammates, “This guy can play, you better put your chinstraps on today fellas.” White had two sacks and a tipped ball that was returned for a touchdown against the Giants that Sunday afternoon. “He proved he could play that day,” Carthon said laughingly.