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'Weapon X': 2016 Recruit Devin White a Jack-of-All-Trades Athlete

Damon Sayles@@DamonSaylesNational Recruiting AnalystAugust 5, 2015

As a 255-pound athlete with the speed of a wide receiver, Louisiana 4-star Devin White can play several positions effectively because of his uncanny combination of size, speed and athleticism.
As a 255-pound athlete with the speed of a wide receiver, Louisiana 4-star Devin White can play several positions effectively because of his uncanny combination of size, speed and athleticism.Credit: 247Sports

It's no secret that interested college coaches have the same conversations about Devin White.

Is he a linebacker at the next level, or a running back? Perhaps an H-back? Maybe a hybrid defensive end?

When discussing White, the answer is simple.

Yes. Yes to all. And then some.

"Effectively, I can play linebacker, wide receiver, running back, anything on special teams, wherever," said White, a 4-star athlete from North Webster High School in Springhill, Louisiana. "I'm going to work hard at everything just for the team. I'd play tight end just to give the team an extra boost, because I like to win."

In the world of recruiting, White is a Swiss army knife of sorts, a jack-of-all-trades athlete who is expected to see early playing time because of the multiple ways he can be used on the field—on both sides of the ball. Few athletes at any level of competition have the combination of power, speed, athleticism, elusiveness and versatility White possesses.

In fact, members of the media began calling White "Weapon X" while at The Opening in Oregon last month. The moniker fits.

Credit: 247Sports
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For starters, he's 6'1" and 255 pounds, but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at The Opening. He also was one of the strongest participants at the event, throwing the power ball 44 feet. Only three players threw it further.

And then there's White's athleticism: He showed his leaping ability with a 37.9-inch vertical in Oregon.

In short, he's an enigma.

"I think he's one of the more unique athletes that we've seen over the first five years of The Opening," said Brian Stumpf, vice president of football events for Student Sports, which puts on The Opening and the Elite 11. "You don't often find that combination of build and athletic ability, and it will be fascinating to see what position he ends up matriculating to at the next level as he continues to physically mature."

Versatile from the start

White originally thought he'd be the next great wide receiver. As a youngster playing Pop Warner ball, he was a go-to option as an outside receiver.

"I was a real skinny cat and kind of tall," White said. "That's where the catching came in. I've always been able to catch by playing wide receiver. I used to run a lot of routes. That's how it started."

As White got older, he got bigger. And stronger. By the time he started high school, he was a burly athlete who coaches felt fit best as a linebacker. His opportunity to play running back came when one of his teammates was injured.

"I was the man to step up," he said, "and I loved it back there."

As a junior, White rushed for 2,287 yards and 30 touchdowns. He had 1,094 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns as a sophomore.

"I'm coming downhill with power," said White, who averaged better than eight yards per carry last season. "If you don't want to tackle me, I'll find you. But it isn't just about running people over. I've got good footwork in the hole. I can make people miss, run a toss sweep outside and catch passes.

"The defense better blitz every gap, because they have 255 pounds coming at them full speed."

White is scary at running back, but then there's his work at linebacker. He finished his junior year with 93 tackles. He had 99 tackles as a sophomore.

White is a top-80 player who some feel would have a more promising college career on the defensive side of the ball. But ask White, and it's no secret that he loves having the football in his hand.

"I'm comfortable at linebacker, and I actually think that position is really easy for me," he said, "but I prayed about it, and I don't want to play it (in college). I'm focused on teams recruiting me to play running back."

Stumpf added, "I think staying at his weight currently, he's an ideal 3-4 inside linebacker who can take on blockers and also run sideline to sideline. But we also know that running back is in his heart."

Credit: 247Sports

Finding a winning program

On July 10, White released a top 10 of LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Texas A&M, Georgia, Arkansas and UCLA. He doesn't have a true timetable on when he'll announce his verbal commitment, but national signing day could be the big day.

One player who would love to call him a teammate is Ole Miss pledge Shea Patterson. The 5-star quarterback considers White one of his best friends and has been a fan of his playing style for a few years.

Damon Sayles @DamonSayles

Recruiting at its finest: #HottyToddy commits @SheaPatterson_1 & @dkmetcalf14 with @DevinWhite_40 in the middle. http://t.co/MbuDsWRjJQ

"For me, it's a little different from everyone else. He's like my brother," Patterson said. "I think Devin is one of those guys who is one of a kind. He's a freak of an athlete. He kind of reminds me a lot of Bo Jackson, because he can do a lot of stuff.

"I mean, he's 6'1", 250 pounds and running a 4.4. That's not supposed to happen. He's been someone I've thought about since I committed."

In June, White posted a cryptic tweet suggesting he knows where he wants to play college ball. While he refuses to tip his hat, his 247Sports Crystal Ball points heavily to his staying in-state, playing for LSU. Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia are schools to keep an eye on as well.

White considers himself a "people person and a family person," and the winning school will have a friendly campus environment, in addition to an outstanding football program.

"If you treat me like family, and I know you're there for me, that's what I'm looking for," he said. "Getting on the field, I'm a team player, so I'm going to do what I have to do to be a great player for the university.

"I want to believe in the coach in helping me get to the NFL, which is a final goal for me. Another thing: I just want to feel comfortable. At the end of the day, I want my parents at my games and for me and them to be comfortable with the university."

Patterson, who said he talks to White every day, believes his playmaking ability fits best at Ole Miss. His selling pitch is clear: He wants White to help bring a national championship to Oxford, Mississippi.

"I tell him that this class is good enough to where we can take the program over the hump," Patterson said. "I think it's something we can do. It's been done at other places like Alabama, LSU and Auburn. We can do it and be legends."

Wherever he ends up, White wants to be a game-changer at the college level. After all, "GAME CHANGER" is his username on Twitter.

And he can be that kind of player. At a few different positions.

"I can play linebacker or running back. On the offensive side, I can catch the ball, run the ball or block real well," White said. "I just want to be versatile on all sides of the ball. I thank God for blessing me.

"It's just God-given ability right now, but when I get to work with a college coach and perfect my craft, it will be something dangerous."

Staff Writer Tyler Donohue contributed to this report.

Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles.

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