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ASU Running Back Rachaad White Named as Potential Breakout Player by ESPN

The Arizona State ball-carrier averaged 10 yards per carry last season.
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After they led the Pac-12 in average rushing yards per game last season, you'd figure the Arizona State Sun Devils rushing attack would receive a lot more love heading into 2021.

That's not to say some haven't been recognized, though. Arizona State running back Rachaad White was nominated to the Doak Walker Award watch list, annually given to the nation's top running back. White also was named to the preseason all-conference team as a second-team rusher. 

With under two weeks left until Arizona State begins its season, the acknowledgements continue to pour in for White. ESPN released a list of college football's top 10 potential breakout players for 2021, with White featured on the list as "The Human First Down" thanks to his 10 yards per-carry last season, the highest in the country. 

White Chosen to Breakout 

"White's 2020 campaign lasted just four games as Arizona State, and the Pac-12 in general, were beset by COVID-19 setbacks, but he made the most of his first season in Tempe by racking up 571 yards on just 50 total touches -- an astonishing 11.4 yards per touch, hence the nickname -- and led the Sun Devils in rushing and receiving," wrote ESPN's David Hale. 

"He averaged nearly 2 yards per touch more than any other player in the country with at least 40 rush attempts. Coaches define an explosive play as a rush of 12 yards or a reception of 16. More than a quarter of White's touches last season were explosive.

"In short, White's four-game introduction was as electric as anyone else's in 2020."

White, who arrived to ASU after briefly playing JUCO ball following little to no interest from Division I schools, has impressed everybody since his arrival in Tempe, including Arizona State running backs coach Shaun Aguano. 

"He went about every rep as a professional," Aguano told ESPN. "And just watching his fluidness as a runner, but because he was a receiver, also his route-running and his vision and his lateral quickness, the way he one-cuts, we just knew we needed to get him the ball."

Getting White the ball will indeed be in the mix for Arizona State, a team again looking to control each game on the ground. With four of five starters returning on the offensive line, White told ESPN he's gunning for even higher aspirations. 

"I'm the type of guy where the past is in the past, and if I averaged 10 [yards per carry], I'm trying to beat that," said White. "I'm trying to get better every year."

Donnie Druin is a Deputy Editor with AllSunDevils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin, and AllSunDevils @AllSunDevils. Like and follow AllSunDevils on Facebook, and for more ASU news visit