40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds (77th percentile)
Broad jump: 125 inches (87th)
Vertical jump: 38 inches (86th)
A solid high school career that culminated in 1,325 rushing yards and an all-Missouri nod his senior year failed to gain White any recruiting traction. He garnered 0 stars as a prospect and landed at Division II Nebraska-Kearney, where he redshirted in 2017.
Still, White envisioned a path to an FBS program that ran through the junior-college level. He transferred to Mt. St. Antonio College in California for the 2018 season. White carried just 70 times for 392 yards in his 1st season with the Mounties.
The next season, however, found White ranking 2nd in the entire California Community College Athletic Association with 114.9 rushing yards per game and leading the association in total rushing yards (1,264 over 11 contests). He averaged 6.4 yards per rush and scored 10 times, adding 25-216-2 as a receiver.
That was enough to land White 1st-team JUCO All-American status and position him as a 3-star JUCO prospect. He initially committed to UCLA before de-committing and choosing Arizona State.
White’s debut campaign with the Sun Devils found the team playing just 4 games in the Year of COVID, so his limited numbers were more impressive than they might initially seem. His 6 total TDs made up 28.6% of the team’s total scores, and White led ASU in both rushing yards and receiving yards. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-12.
Despite losing some time to a right-leg injury in 2021, White enjoyed a tremendous season. He accounted for 30.5% of Arizona State’s total yards and 35.6% of the TDs. He trailed WR Ricky Pearsall by just 5 receptions and 124 yards for the team lead in those categories, while posting 57.6% of the team’s RB rushing yards on 55% of the RB carries.
White handled 15 carries or fewer in 7 of 11 games – sharing a backfield with dual-threat QB Jayden Daniels – averaging just 11.3 rushes in those outings. The 4 times he did get more work found White delivering the following rushing lines:
22-90-2 vs. UNLV
28-202-3 vs. USC
32-184-2 at Washington
21-98-1 vs. Arizona
Three of those performances came among his final 4 games. White opted out of the Las Vegas Bowl.
Games watched: Washington 2021, BYU 2021, USC 2021, Arizona 2021
Two important things to note before we get rocking:
Now the easy stuff: White’s 4.48 speed shows up when the path is clear in front of him. He can scoot (84th percentile speed score), and even DBs have trouble catching up.
What stood out to me from the sample I watched, though, is that White runs smart. Let’s start with this short conversion run …
White has the awareness and presence of mind to see the attacking lineman and set up so that the defender hits him with more of a glancing blow than a straight-on shot.
Of course, it’s still a hit. And White also presents the balance and strength to continue through that tackle attempt to convert the 4th-and-1 in a game his team was trailing in the 4th quarter.
A few plays later in the same game, we find White putting his arsenal of subtle moves and vision on full display for this long TD run.
He starts by sidestepping another backfield intruder, then weaving through traffic and turning on the speed to take it the distance.
(Unfortunately for him, a holding penalty negated that play. That means White went 32-184-2 rushing in that game WITHOUT this particular 47-yard score.)
One thing White seems to do especially well is find the path, even when it might not be so clear.
Any RB can run away from a traffic jam like that one. But White doesn’t simply sprint diagonally. He finds room and then cuts up inside defenders to find the shortest path to the 1st down.
Here’s 1 more long gain that flashes some subtle smarts. Watch as White cuts inside a defender (and away from another’s path) to spring the run.
And then rather than just try to beat his man to or through the goal line, he slows up and lets the angling defender overrun. That leaves White the surer route to paydirt.
I would have included some receiving here, but every catch in my sample fit the checkdown/dump off category. Nothing special. You can tell by his numbers, though, that Arizona State trusted him and kept him busy in the passing game. (And there was at least 1 reception on a ball thrown outside his frame).
As I said above, I don’t think White looks special. I emphasize that because he may wind up inside the top 3 of our rookie RB rankings. But had his time come a year earlier, he wouldn’t have checked in close to that top 3 (Najee Harris, Travis Etienne and Javonte Williams).
I do like White as a runner, though. And I see 3-down upside to him. His draft capital, of course, will tell us more about how much his NFL team believes.
From a fantasy standpoint, the receiving is clearly a potential differentiator. White snared 25.4% of ASU receptions over the 11 games he played last year. His 21.7% share of team receiving yards nearly doubled his nearest RB competitors in this class.
White’s career got off to a slow start, but he finished strong and looks good enough on tape to back up the encouraging numbers. I’ll be anxious to see where he lands.