RB JAMES WHITE, WISCONSIN

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5’10” – 195 lbs. – 4.50e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 156 – 1,052 – 14 (6.7)
2011: 141 – 713 – 6 (5.1)
2012: 125 – 806 – 12 (6.4)

OVERVIEW:

Played in twelve games as a true freshman, leading the team in rushing yards and all-purpose yards, then appeared in all fourteen games in each of the following two seasons as the primary backup to Montee Ball. Split time fairly evenly with Melvin Gordon as a senior, appearing in every game.

POSITIVES:

•    A major contributor in all four seasons at Wisconsin despite their talented backfield.
•    Functioned as the Badgers’ primary wildcat quarterback, where he had some success.
•    Impressive acceleration skills, capable of beating defenders to the edge for big gains.
•    Makes nice cuts, but doesn’t become overly preoccupied with juking unnecessarily.
•    Above-average speed; capable of taking runs the distance once he’s in the open field.
•    Contributed more as a receiving option as a senior, enhancing third-down value.
•    Despite his lack of power, uses the stiff-arm pretty effectively, can gain a bit of space.
•    Has been able to stay healthy as part of a running back rotation despite lack of bulk.

NEGATIVES:

•    A bit smaller than you’d prefer, could stand to add some additional bulk to his frame.
•    Lack of size means he doesn’t project as an excellent between-the-tackles runner.
•    Tends to try and bounce his runs outside a bit too frequently, often losing yardage.
•    Vision on inside runs is a bit inconsistent, doesn’t look like he always trusts blocking.
•    Can be brought down by arm tackles, doesn’t have exceptional lower-body strength.
•    Certainly not someone who’s able to lower his shoulder and run over defenders much.
•    Caught the ball more often as a senior than he did previously, but has average hands.

SUMMARY:

White basically worked as Wisconsin’s secondary rushing option for much of his career, generally taking advantage of his opportunities. He is not the biggest back, and will never be one of the most powerful backs, or the most effective interior runners, but his speed and acceleration offer the possibility of big gains from time to time as long as teams are willing to overlook his tendency to bounce runs outside. At the next level, he profiles as a reserve back who will probably never become a full-time starter; teams may also try to work him onto the field as a wildcat quarterback. While he was fairly productive as a receiver in 2013, there are better options for that sort of running back.

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