Senior linebackers Corey and Jared White have made a habit during their Chicago football careers of confusing opposing offenses. The brothers have garnered over 170 career tackles and 12.5 career tackles for loss between them. However, it’s not just other teams that the White brothers confuse—oftentimes their own teammates struggle to tell the identical twins apart.
“There aren’t many physical differences between us, but I think I’m an eighth of an inch taller,” Corey joked.
Along with their physical similarities, the Whites have always shared a special bond reserved only for brothers.
Solely basketball and baseball players during their grammar school days, the brothers tried football for the first time in high school. When Jared, then an offensive lineman, wanted to quit and focus on basketball after his sophomore season, it was Corey who talked him into sticking with football.
“I told him that he was better at football than he ever would be at basketball, and it didn’t look like we were going to hit a growth spurt any time soon so he could start on the football team or be the seventh or eighth man on the basketball team,” Corey recalled. “He started to see it my way after that.”
Two years later, the decision to stay with football paid off as the brothers were thrilled to get the opportunity to extend their playing careers at Chicago.
“Playing at a university like Chicago was something that really made sense and allowed me to continue with sports while getting a world-class education,” Jared said.
In their first season for the Maroons, Jared appeared in three contests while Corey saw playing time in five games. During that time, though, they gained valuable insight and experience that would help them in their breakout sophomore seasons. Both started every game for Chicago at linebacker, and Corey raked in Second Team All-UAA honors for his performance.
Following the 2008 season, however, Jared suffered from a fractured ankle and two bulging discs in his back that kept him from the playing field for much of last year. Conversely, Corey started in eight games and contributed heavily to the Maroons’ 5-4 final mark.
“Starting my sophomore and junior seasons was probably the most fun I’ve had at Chicago,” Corey said.
A back injury similar to that of his brother hindered Corey for much of the spring, but this summer he was cleared to play alongside his brother for one final season.
“Sometimes the injuries have really made me want to turn in the pads, but our dad always told us that when you start something you finish it, and in some ways that sentiment has always kept us going,” Jared said.
Their commitment to football and the Chicago team over the years has been noticed by Head Coach Dick Maloney and made quite the impression on him.
“Jared and Cory are spectacular human beings, and they are among the brightest and best young men I have ever coached,” Maloney said. “They are highly respected by their teammates and are leaders on the football field, as well as in the UChicago community.”
Outside of playing football for the Maroons, Corey and Jared—both economics majors—have stayed very involved in all that the University of Chicago has to offer. Last year, Corey was the President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Jared will take over that role this upcoming school year. Jared was also a founding member of the University’s Multicultural Greek Council.
“All of the extracurricular involvement can lead to a sacrifice of more than a few hours of sleep, but I feel like everything that I have done has been more than worth the time in helping me develop as a person,” Jared said.
As they near the end of their football careers, Jared and Corey hope to enjoy what lasts of their final collegiate games.
“Playing sports together is fun; people always think that since we are twins we must be jealous of each other, but that is not the case,” Corey said. “I’m happy for Jared for all of his accomplishments both on the field and off of it and I’m sure that he feels the same way.”