Western Carolina senior wide receiver David White Jr. has accepted an invitation to play in the 2024 Caribe Royale Orlando Hula Bowl. The game is scheduled for Noon on Sat., Jan. 13, 2024, at the University of Central Florida’s FBC Mortgage Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
The 78th annual Hula Bowl game will showcase the top 120 collegiate players, alongside legendary NFL coaches. All NFL, XFL, USFL, and CFL teams will be represented to scout the players attending.
Playing in 10 of the team’s 11 games in 2023, White finished second on the team in receptions (34), receiving yards (519) and receiving touchdowns (6). He averaged 51.9 receiving yards per game to rank 11th in the Southern Conference while his six receiving scores were the fourth-most by an individual in the league this season coming over the fewest number of games played.
White eclipsed the 100-yard mark with a career-best 113 yards on five catches including a touchdown against Mercer. Then in the home finale, the Jacksonville, Fla., product matched his career best with six catches for 86 yards and two scores of 40 and five yards in the rout of mountain-rival ETSU in the Blue Ridge Border Battle.
Over two seasons in Cullowhee, the 6-4, 200-lbs., Valdosta State transfer caught 54 passes for 903 yards and 11 career touchdowns. Among his WCU highlights was a career-long 75-yard touchdown reception in the 2022 meeting with Furman in Greenville, S.C. Prior to WCU, White caught 40 passes for 539 yards and eight scores for the Blazers over 25 games at Valdosta giving him a total of 94 career catches for 1,442 yards and 19 scores as a collegian.
Established in 1946 as the Hula Bowl All-Star Football Classic and first played in 1947, the teams were comprised of mainland college players against a local Hawaiian Island team primarily made up of graduates from Leilehua High in Wahiawa, Hawaii, according to the organization’s website. Starting in 1960, the game was established as an all-star game that would only invite NCAA college players from schools across the United States.
Throughout its tenure, the game was historically played at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1998, the mayor of Maui County requested that the Organizers of the Hula have the game moved to the Island of Maui. Beginning that year, the game was held at the War Memorial Stadium in the town of Kahului.
In 2006, the Hula Bowl was returned to its historic home on the beautiful island of Oahu. The game remained on Oahu until the 2008 game.
There has been overwhelming support to bring the game to Florida at the UCF FBC Mortgage Stadium in 2022. The community has extended a gracious and warm welcome as the organizers have been planning the game's return in January 2024.
Following this strongly supported return, the game will be featured in January each year in Florida. This year, the game will include NCAA college football players from all divisions, along with international players from Japan. In addition, the game will always include Polynesian players with historic ties to the Islands.
Tickets are currently on sale for the 2024 Caribe Royale Orlando Hula Bowl and are available through Ticketmaster. For more information on the game, please visit HulaBowl.com