Coach Jim Harbaugh recently reached out to former college star quarterback Pat White about a tryout, White told USA Today on Sunday.
After a trade that sent backup quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs, the 49ers have only two quarterbacks on their roster: starter Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien, who has yet to play in his two NFL seasons.
"Coach and I had a conversation about me coming in to work out," White said. "We haven't set up a formal date. I'm just going to make sure I keep working hard for when that day comes.
"I pay attention to how his players react to Coach Harbaugh. They all want to win for him. And he seems to treat them how they want to be treated. I'm excited to get to know him on that level, if I do get that opportunity. I'm very optimistic about making it back to the NFL."
White, 27, has not played in the NFL since the Miami Dolphins released him at the end of training camp in 2010. He spent a month this offseason working out with quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. in Southern California as he attempts to make a comeback. The 49ers were among the 29 teams that attended West Virginia's pro day on March 14, USA Today reports. White took part in an hourlong workout after the pro day.
White finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2007 and seventh in 2008 at West Virginia. He threw for 6,049 yards and 56 touchdowns while rushing for 4,480 yards and 47 touchdowns in his four-year career at West Virginia.
The Miami Dolphins selected White in the second round (No. 44 overall) of the 2009 draft.
White played in 13 games for the Dolphins in 2009. He carried 21 times for 81 yards (3.9-yard average) and did not complete a pass in his five attempts.
When asked by CSNBayArea.com about the 49ers' plans at backup quarterback last week at the NFL owners meetings, Harbaugh said, "We want competition at every position, and the quarterback position is no sacred cow position. It won't be just about Colin. There's a difference knowing that he's the starter and who will get those first-team reps. So now we need to put a little heat on him. Let's go compete with him, make him better. That's the way it works. You use all the avenues that you have, free agency and the draft."
White (6-foot, 206 pounds) attended the Senior Bowl in January to inform teams of his comeback plans.
"I'm still young. My legs are still with me," White told the Palm Beach Post. "I'm like a 2009 model with about 4,500 miles on it. It still runs just as smooth.
"Everyone wants to point fingers as to why it didn't work out in the NFL. I felt it was because of me. I could've done a lot more film study, a lot more working on my game. Instead of being there 30 minutes after practice, be there an hour. It's the little things."