White attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was a part of the 2008 St. Thomas Aquinas National Championship team. At Aquinas, he primarily split time with Giovani Bernard, who is currently a running back for the Cincinnati Bengals. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and over 20 touchdowns in his senior year and was chosen to the (Broward) All-County team. White also played and lettered in baseball.
White came out of St. Thomas Aquinas as the 70th-ranked running back in his class, and as a three star recruit by Scout.com. He chose Wisconsin over Clemson, Michigan State, and South Florida, among others. He was given the nickname "sweet feet".
White was named the 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year. White rushed for 1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns leading the Badgers to the 2011 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. White rushed for over 100 yards a game on 17 different occasions during his college career, despite splitting carries with John Clay, Montee Ball, and Melvin Gordon for most of his career. On November 16, 2013, White ran for a career-high 205 yards against Indiana. Also, during that game, White set a Wisconsin record for longest run from scrimmage (93 yards).
He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round (130th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
White was active for only three games for the Patriots; he was inactive for the team's win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
White emerged onto the national scene in Week 11 of the 2015 season with a two-touchdown performance in a 20–13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football after the starting running back, Dion Lewis, was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The win pushed the Patriots' record to 10–0 for the season. In Week 13, White caught a career-high 10 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 35–28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
White had a breakout season as the Patriots primary passing back with Lewis starting the season on PUP. In Week 5, which was Brady's return from suspension, White caught 4 passes for 63 yards. In Week 6 against the Bengals, White caught two touchdown passes from Tom Brady, a 15-yard and a 6-yard while recording a team-high eight receptions for 47 yards and rushing seven times for 19 yards. In the Week 7 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers White caught his 3rd TD pass of the season. In Week 11, against the 49ers, White caught 6 passes for 63 yards and recorded his 4th TD of the season. In the week 14 game against the Baltimore Ravens White caught 3 passes for 81 yards, including a 61-yard catch and run from Tom Brady. In the Week 16 game against the New York Jets, White caught 3 passes for 32 yards and a TD, making it his fifth receiving touchdown of the season. With his Week 16 performance, White became one of five running backs to have 500 or more receiving yards in the 2016 season.
Super Bowl LI
During Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons, White had 139 total yards (29 rushing, 110 receiving). He joined Roger Craig as the only running back with 100+ receiving yards in a Super Bowl and broke Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas's previous record for most receptions in a Super Bowl, which came in a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII, with 14. He scored 3 touchdowns and a 2-point conversion, setting a record for points in a Super Bowl, with 20. All of those points came after the Patriots trailed 28–3 midway through the third quarter. Danny Amendola's 2-point conversion following White's second touchdown tied the game, sending the Super Bowl to overtime for the first time ever. During overtime, White delivered the finishing blow by rushing two yards into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown as the Patriots won 34–28 , becoming the first team in 134 tries to win when trailing by 17+ after 3 quarters in a postseason game (the Patriots trailed by 19).
Quarterback Tom Brady, who won the Super Bowl MVP award, said that he believed White should have won the award instead. Several commentators, as well as Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, also argued that White should have won the award.
While White is the only player to score in overtime in a Super Bowl, he is the second player to score the winning touchdown in overtime in an NFL championship game: Alan Ameche, a fellow Wisconsin Badger, did so for the Baltimore Colts in 1958.
On April 18, 2017, White, who was entering the final year of his rookie contract, signed a three-year, $12 million extension with the Patriots through the 2020 season. The contract includes $4.69 million in guarantees and an additional $3 million in incentives.