Evan White has hit a few hurdles over the past year, but the former Colorado safety is taking a positive approach to his future.
Dismissed from the team last winter for a violation of team rules, White said he has hopes of rejoining the Buffaloes in January and he has talked to coaches about a plan to return. That plan includes him taking three classes at the CU Denver campus this fall.
"We've worked it out," said White, from Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora. "Just take these classes and some drug tests throughout the time that I'm off and then I'll be back in January."
During his sophomore season last fall, White played in 11 of 13 games, mostly on special teams. He was suspended for two games late in the season for the same violation. Backup quarterback Cade Apsay also had a two-game suspension during the 2015 season.
When Apsay and White slipped up again, they were dismissed from the team. Apsay, from southern California, is returning home with hopes to play at a junior college, while White has his sights set on returning to CU.
"It's definitely an eye opener, but it's just something to learn off of," White said. "It was something that made me learn from my mistakes and just to get stronger from it. It was disappointing at first, but after time passed, it just made me realize I have to take this as a positive."
An All-Colorado performer in high school, White had a solid true freshman season in 2014, playing in nine games, including three starts, and recording 31 tackles.
He admitted he didn't work as hard as he needed to last season, and he played in just three games on defense.
Now, the wait to get on the field is a bit longer, but White is trying to prepare his body for that return.
White finished the spring semester at CU and has spent this summer working out at Six Zero Strength & Fitness, which is run by former CU lineman Matt McChesney. White, who is currently 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, will continue to work out there throughout the fall, he said.
White said he hopes to get to 215 or 220 pounds by the time the Buffs open spring ball in 2017. From there, he hopes to compete for a spot at safety.
"Wherever the coaches want to put me, I'll play anything they want me to," he said. "It doesn't matter, as long as I'm on the field."
In addition to his dismissal from the team, White, 20, was thrown another curveball this spring when he learned that he will become a father. He has a son due on Oct. 2.
"It's making me grow up faster," he said. "It was definitely a shock. It was just something that I had to embrace."
So far, White's 2016 has been all about embracing challenges, but he hopes it leads to a brighter future.
"I'm ready to move on from it, definitely," he said.
CU's class of true freshmen are set to arrive later this week and report to the team by next Monday. ... The entire team is set to report for fall camp on Aug. 3.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.