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Q&A: Carolina Panthers cornerback Melvin White

10 questions about life away from football with Panthers cornerback Melvin White:

Q. Did you grow up as a Saints fan?

A. Oh, nah, no, no. I just went to school in Louisiana (Lafayette). I didn’t grow up a Saints fan.

Q. Did the Saints dominate the discussions down there?

A. No doubt. Everybody around there felt like New Orleans is the best in everything, which is reasonable being down there. That’s their team.

Q. You ever go to a game in New Orleans or hang out in the French Quarter?

A. Never went to a game. The only time I really went to New Orleans was when we went to the New Orleans Bowl. It was a great experience – for two years. My junior year and senior year we actually played in it.

Q. What’d you think of the French Quarter?

A. Everything they say it is (laughs). We stayed in the Hilton, the one a couple blocks down from Bourbon Street.

Q. Have you gotten to know Jake Delhomme (who also played at Louisiana-Lafayette)?

A. Oh, yeah, real good. He (lives) in Lafayette. So he always comes to talk to the team. He’s pretty much at every game.

Q. Did he reach out to you after you signed here?

A. Yeah, I even talked to him the times he came back here. Matter of fact, the last time when they had him beat the (Keep Pounding) drum (in November), that Saturday I got a chance to talk to him.

Q. You’re from the outskirts of Houston. Can any state match Texas high school football?

A. Texas, man, where everything’s bigger and better (laughs).

Q. Did you have other scholarship offers besides Lafayette?

A. TCU offered me a full ride. But they found out about the grades situation, and that’s when they took their scholarship away. Then there were other schools like Houston. Mainly, it was TCU and Houston.

Q. If you didn’t grow up rooting for the Saints, who was your team?

A. To be honest, I never really had a team. I grew up loving Michael Vick. So that was like one of the greatest experiences in my life when we played him in the preseason game. I had the opportunity to talk to him after the game. I told him he was my favorite player (and) I grew up watching him. For him to respect me and talk to me, and even give me some words of encouragement about being a pro and everything, it had to be one of the best moments of my life.

Q. Guessing you were a high school quarterback?

A. Yeah. In high school, well, pretty much all my life, I played quarterback. I didn’t start playing DB until I got to college. ... I had (Vick’s) Falcons jersey. Sometimes I wished I was left-handed just because of him.

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