White earned fans inside the locker room and out of it with the way he played in the spring and the singular highlight of the spring game. White caught five passes for 72 yards, which isn't special for a spring game, but one of those receptions was everything the fans and the coaches were looking for.
He caught a quick throw on the right side as the blocking set up for a screen play, which isn't something WVU did often last season. He avoided the corner back right away and then stepped inside and pushed past a lunging linebacker. He angled toward the middle of the field and stepped through the arms of a defensive lineman and then straightened his route and outran everyone else for a 46-yard touchdown.
"I love those plays," White said. "I'd rather catch a short pass and take it to the house than catch a bomb and just maul someone. Big guys my size shouldn't be able to move the way I do. I take that personal. It's something I like about my game."
WVU didn't do much on the right side of the field last season. Bailey played the left side and J.D. Woods on the right wasn't a threat to turn something small into something big. The Mountaineers intended the majority of their quick throws and screen passes for either Tavon Austin or the running backs.
The way White changed himself may change the way the Mountaineers pass the ball, which would be useful. They're looking for someone to supply statistics outside and White has been looking at Bailey's statistics since he arrived.
"I'm really impressed," he said. "I wonder, 'Can I do that next? Can my numbers be better?'"
Yet that's not where the comparisons end for White. He is a junior college transfer with long, braided hair who wears jersey No. 11 - just like Bruce Irvin.
"I'm very aware," White said, knowing as well as anyone else Irvin helped fund the renovated weight room and has a corner of it dedicated in his name. "I hear it just about every day. When I came in, I'd heard of him, but I'd never really paid attention until I got here. When I saw what he did and that he went in the first round, it was, 'Aw, shoot.' It's a little pressure, but it's cool."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casa...@hotmail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.