AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson White lingered on the field long after an MVP-type performance in which he scored three touchdowns and ran for 124 yards on 20 carries. He soaked in the atmosphere of what could’ve been his final game with family and friends. White, a junior, will take about a week to decide if he’s turning pro but it will take a lot longer to erase that fourth-and-2. “I’ve got some thinking to do,” White said. “I have to talk things over with my family. I don’t want to bail out but there’s a lot of money there and NFL dreams out there. It’s a big decision. I’ll lean on some people, but ultimately I’ll go with my heart. I don’t think my heart will let me down.” White didn’t let USC down and athletic director Mike Garrett made sure to let White know as much. As White tried to hold back tears, Garrett told him: “You were a monster out there. Don’t get down. What you showed is all you need to show.” Like that play when White ran down the sideline and stiff-armed Michael Huff in the second quarter. He shoved him backward by the face mask and tossed him to the ground and was tackled at Texas’ 3. He scored on the next play to give USC a 17-16 lead. He gave USC a 24-23 lead just before halftime with a 12-yard score and high-stepped his way into the end zone. Texas and the rest of the free world was preoccupied with finding a way to contain Reggie Bush, who ran for a 26-yard score and 82 yards on 13 carries. White and Bush have been such a potent combination. Well-known as “Thunder and Lightning”, the duo set a combined record for 99 career touchdowns, eclipsing the previous mark set by Army’s Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, who combined for 97 career touchdowns from 1943-46. This time, the combination wasn’t bigger than Texas. White was tackled for a 1-yard gain and USC turned the ball over on downs to Texas. The Longhorns then turned it over to Vince Young and Texas won a thrilling national championship, 41-38. Pete Carroll momentarily hid the tears in LenDale White’s eyes with an emotional embrace. Carroll leaned on White for several seconds, much like he leaned on him in the Rose Bowl. White’s power game worked like magic against Texas. But on fourth-and-2 and needing only a first down to ice the game, Carroll went for it and put the game in the hands the offensive line and White. A two-headed monster, indeed. Texas couldn’t stop White, but USC couldn’t stop Young, either. And that’s why the loss was so hard to fathom. In White’s career at USC, he’s 37-2. Winning became a habit. Losing wasn’t. “I haven’t lost in a long time,” White said. “But it’s easy for me to walk around with my head up high.” He just might not be doing it around the USC campus next year. Jill Painter, (818) 713-3615 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!