When Lackawanna (Pa.) College coach Mark Duda summarizes Kevin White by saying WVU is “getting one of the best athletes we’ve ever coached here,” you need the context to gauge such a statement.
Here is that context: Duda has developed more than 300 Division I football players in 20 seasons at the junior college, including a current NFL starter, Bills receiver Donald Jones, who plays White’s position.
Sprinkle in a few other details — such as the fact White is 6-foot-3, 210 pounds with top-line measurables — and Duda’s recommendation trumps the lack of recruiting-service stars adjacent to White’s name.
“Kevin’s a little more athletic than Donald Jones is,” Duda told the MetroNews “SportsLine” crew Tuesday night. “He’s a sub 4.5 guy and his vertical’s over 40 inches, so he’s a huge receiver. But athletically, it makes him a little bit bigger because his range is so great.”
View White’s sophomore highlight clips here.
White was overlooked in recruiting circles because he redshirted as a skinny newcomer at Lackawanna and remained undersized as a freshman last season. Then, in classic late-bloomer fashion, White returned for spring practice and caught Duda by surprise.
“He was probably 20 pounds heavier,” the coach said. “Now, when you see this kid, he is a physical specimen. It’s incredible.”
Lackawanna’s long-standing supply-line to WVU — more than 10 signees, including current Mountaineers Josh Francis and Mark Glowinski — was crucial when Hawaii, Texas Tech and Mississippi State began recruiting White.
“He was under the radar because usually kids are looked at the year before,” Duda said. “College coaches are very good at scouting guys early.
“But he hit the screen this year and just exploded. He made some catches people can’t make and some runs people can’t make. It happened really fast.”
When White committed last week, he knew West Virginia was losing senior receivers Tavon Austin and J.D. Woods and correctly guessed that junior Stedman Bailey would be jetting to the NFL also. White plans to enroll in January, affording him a headstart in the wide-open position race during spring practice.
“He can stretch the field, and he really moves well in space for a big kid,” Duda said. “His body’s so big, he shields you from the ball. It’s really tough for a normal-sized defensive back, a 6-footer, to compete with that kid.
“He’ll catch a little stop route and the corners are always outsized. There aren’t many 6-3, 210-pound corners.”