Most impressive emerging player in 2014? WVU’s Kevin White

West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White stood out in week one against Alabama. The Mountaineers flirted with an upset and most of that was down to White. He had nine catches, 143 yards and a touchdown (see the video above). For a player who’s suffered with confidence issues in the past, it was the perfect start. A launchpad.

After four games only Amari Cooper has been more productive in the NCAA. White is a legit candidate for the Biletnikoff and his stock is growing. I’m not convinced he’s the 6-3 210lbs listed by ESPN, but he ticks a lot of boxes. He’s got excellent acceleration, he high-points the football, he makes difficult grabs and he knows where to sit and find the soft spot in zone. He has a shot at the next level.

The big concern, sadly, may be those confidence issues. He’s extremely softly spoken to the point of being quite shy. He’s no fool, far from it. But he’s shy. One of the big things we learnt this year is Seattle wants players who can survive in their ultra-competitive locker room. This is a question we have to ask now about every player, including White. Can they have a rocky session against the Legion of Boom during camp and come back the next day with amnesia? Can they take the talking, the physical challenge? Can they thrive in the environment of this team? Can White?

If there are questions to be asked there, you’ll struggle to find many regarding his on-field performance. Against Maryland he had 13 catches for 216 yards. Watch the tape below and tell me you’re not impressed. At the very least check out the following plays:

2:13 — An explosive catch and run on a WR screen, breaking off a 44-yard sprint through traffic.

2:58 — Competent run blocking at the perimeter, sealing his man and allowing the running back to get a first down and make a significant gain.

3:51 — Complete trust from the quarterback. On play action he steps into the pocket and throws into blanket double coverage. Against two defenders White goes up and plucks the ball out of the air. It’s textbook stuff.

5:25 — Excellent catch again in good coverage. White tracks the ball superbly and somehow makes the completion and gets both feet down.

He’s a smooth athlete, he competes for the ball and he can make big plays. It’s hard to judge his stock right now and he’ll need to maintain consistency throughout the year. He’s an exciting player though, certainly the most impressive prospect to emerge in the early stages of the 2014 season. He’s putting up numbers against good teams too — Alabama in week one, Oklahoma last week (10 catches, 173 yards and a touchdown).

I’m not convinced he’s as good as DeAndre Hopkins — a very underrated receiver who thoroughly deserved to go in round one. They share similar traits though.

West Virginia don’t play this weekend but White will get another opportunity to impress on October 4th against 2-1 Kansas.


  1. jmpasq

    I wish I could of put in more routes and run blocking but he was off screen for most of the game

  2. Darnell

    Shy and quiet doesn’t bother me if they’re smart and cerebral.

    Remember Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson during the draft process? They came across very reserved and quiet in interviews as well. Sometimes it can be an indicator of not being the least bit phased by the game and the process.

  3. Colin

    Guy really doesn’t have much in the way of top end speed or acceleration. Great size, body control, and good hands but I just don’t see a star. He’s a train that needs a lot of tracks to get going. Could be a solid #2, and maybe that’s good enough to go in round 1, but I have a hard time seeing this guy be elite.

  4. bigDhawk

    Listening to this interview I don’t at all hear someone who is shy and quiet. Quite the opposite, I see someone who, off the field, has learned some life lessons and is wiser for it while, on the field, is the ultimate fiery, Win Forever competitor. Great find, Rob. What’s not to absolutely love about this guy? If his measurables are indeed accurate, he could be a candidate for the big receiver that PC has been patiently waiting to find.

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