*We caught up with Jets rookie WR Jordan White this week in the locker room. The seventh-round draft selection made his NFL debut last Thursday versus the Patriots. He talked with us about that moment, which teammate he's learned the most from, and his No. 1 hobby away from the field. *
Last Thursday was your NFL debut. What was that experience like for you?
It was a good experience. It was something I'd already been preparing for, you know, obviously being on the practice squad and waiting to step up and fill any space, any void need be. It's kind of new for me, but at the same time, it was a game. It might have been my first one, but I was calm out there. I was ready to go in and contribute in any way, shape or form. It wasn't that new, but it was a good feeling to finally play.
What were your emotions before the game? Were you pretty nervous?
No, it was the same; same as the preseason games. I know the magnitude of Thanksgiving Day and obviously against the Patriots. It was definitely exciting, but at the same time I realized: Just stay focused and I'll be fine.
Did that make it any more significant that your debut was on Thanksgiving and against this team's biggest rival?
I'll definitely remember it. I'll definitely remember my first NFL game and playing in it and obviously being on Thanksgiving against the Patriots would be significant as well. But at the same time, I'm that type of person to just treat it almost like any other game.
Did you have any family members or friends make the game?
Yeah, my girlfriend and my mother actually made it in, last minute.
What did they think?
They were excited. Hoped we played better and stuff like that. But they were excited just to be there, too.
Describe what the journey has been like to make the active roster. You were drafted by the team in the seventh round, later cut, re-signed to the practice squad, and finally you're here.
It's definitely exciting for one. Something I've known I can do. It's just a matter of me getting back healthy from my broken foot and getting to the level I was before I broke my foot.
When did you break your foot?
I want to say June. It might have been May. No, June OTAs. So just getting back to 100 percent, good to go, which I've been, and then fine-tuning my craft to the NFL level that I need to be on. Working with Sanjay [Lal], [Tony] Sparano and [Tony] Sparano Jr. with some of the things I need to do better, some of the things I do well, and use those to my advantage. So it was just fine-tuning and staying healthy and finally getting to the point where I can contribute.
How long did it take to recover from the injury?
I want to say about four weeks ago, or maybe even during the bye week, is when I just felt almost normal again, like nothing ever happened. You know, it gets sore here and there. It wasn't that I wasn't healthy or I was hurting. But just for feeling completely normal, I think that bye week, that week off really helped me.
Which veteran on the team has taught you the most?
I want to say I talk to Mark [Sanchez]. I talk to Mark a lot.
What's he really tried to pass onto you?
Basically some film study with him. Different things he sees, he's seen with players like Plaxico [Burress] and with some of the other guys, such-and-such did this, such-and-such did this, maybe try to do this, look at the situation like this. And Yeremiah Bell is just another guy besides the football fact that's really talked to me here and there. He might not think it's a big deal, the stuff he says, but he's someone that's always there who'll say, 'How you feeling? What are you thinking today? Why aren't you smiling?' Just a guy that will be there and say little things to you that might not have anything to do with football, but just going through this mentally, going through meetings, being here all day. It's a lot different than college and he's someone that's obviously been in the league a long time and he knows the ins and outs. So I've been able to talk to him a lot.
What are some of Jordan White's hobbies away from football?
Definitely eating, for one. I love some food.
They feed you good here?
Oh, yeah, they feed us good. They feed us real good. Then traveling. I love to travel. I went to like seven countries last year.
Wow. What was your favorite out of those seven?
I definitely want to say Spain or London, England. I'd go with Spain, if I could go anywhere again.
What made Spain so nice?
I don't know. It was modern. The food was nice. It was far from the norm, far from the normal stuff that you see here. But at the same time, it was beautiful. It was nice and easy on the eye, clean. The food was great, obviously. It was just a whole different experience.
Where's the next spot you want to travel to?
I want to go to Russia. I tried to go to Moscow last year, but I ended up going to Tokyo instead. So I'm trying to go to Moscow. I definitely want to go to Russia. I don't know why. But nobody goes there.
How far ahead do you plan these trips?
My mom works for Continental, well, United now, so I fly for free. When I went to Italy, I told her I wanted to go the day before and she put me on a flight that night and I caught it the next morning. I didn't even have a hotel set up. So I kind of just went there and walked around and found a hostel. When I went to Tokyo, it was during our spring break and I kind of said that the weekend before and kind of went. I just go.
So not a lot of advance planning?
No, not at all. I think I kind of like that, too. You know, not planning and just going, so far from the norm. It's fun.
Ha. It's cool.
Now that you're on the active roster, what are your individual goals for the remaining five games of your rookie season?
Oh, contribute obviously, first and foremost. Whether it be with Mike Westhoff on special teams or blocking out there with Sanjay and making catches for Mark and the guys, whatever it may be, my mindset really hasn't changed now that I'm on the active roster. I mean, obviously I still have to work like I was on the practice squad still, and continue to fine-tune my craft because you know I'm not the best yet. And even if I was, you still have to continue to work and fine-tune everything you do because you don't know what could happen at any moment. You have to be ready.