Determined to improve upon what he considered a disappointing junior campaign, White erupted during his senior season in 1983, registering 100 tackles (72 solo), a school single-season record 15 sacks, 9 tackles-for-loss, and an interception. Although Pittsburgh defeated Tennessee 13–3 in the season opener, White consistently kept the Panthers' offense off balance, in spite of being lined up against the Panthers' All-American offensive lineman Bill Fralic. He had two sacks in Tennessee's 31–6 win over New Mexico, and a school single-game record four sacks in the Vols' blowout win over The Citadel. White was named "Southeast Lineman of the Week" for his performance – which included 12 tackles and three sacks – in Tennessee's 20–6 win over LSU, and he twice sacked Alabama quarterback Walter Lewis in Tennessee's 41–34 win over the Tide. In Tennessee's 30–23 win over Maryland in the 1983 Florida Citrus Bowl, White sacked heralded Maryland quarterback Boomer Esiason in the second quarter, knocking him out of the game. White was a consensus All-American, SEC Player of the Year, and a Lombardi Award finalist.