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Colts 2022 Draft Interviews: Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State

Meet Arizona State running back Rachaad White. We talked about his JUCO grind to Arizona State, his versatility as a running back, and his role in the NFL.

Rachaad White is a running back that played his high school ball at Center High School in Kansas City, Missouri. He was barely recruited out of high school, so he opted to attend Nebraska-Kierney at the D-II level.

I asked White how a player with his success at the FBS level found himself so under recruited:

You never know. I really don't know. I don't try to make excuses or anything, but I guess I just wasn't a fit for anybody in Division I. My high school coach would just tell me that it is good to get an opportunity to go to a university on a scholarship, regardless if it is Division I or II.

These opportunities don't come around all the time. That mindset was a big thing that pushed me to take the D-II offer and see how things are out there. I was raised to be appreciative of every little thing, so I was grateful for that opportunity that I had.

After a year at the D-II level, White transferred to Mt. San Antonio, a junior college program in California. There he really broke out as a rusher, finishing his final season with the school with 1,264 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns.

I asked White what his overall experience was like at the JUCO level:

My experience was pretty nice. The JUCO route treated me very well. They did everything they could for me and put me in a great situation to be successful on the field and off the field. Mt. Sac is like my second home away from home.

It was really just a blessing. Just the right time and the right opportunity for me that I took advantage of. Opportunities don't come all the time, and this was like a second-chance for me that I was able to make the best of.

White capitalized on his big final season and received interest from a handful of FBS schools. He was set to sign on with UCLA, but the school decided to go in a different direction. Antonio Pierce (Former NFL linebacker and Arizona State's Defensive Coordinator) was key in the Sun Devils landing White.

I asked him about this second recruiting process and what that overall experience was like:

I'm a firm believer in what is meant to be is what is meant to be. That is really how I ended up at Arizona State. It was a great situation and great opportunity for me.

A guy like Antonio Pierce coming to recruit me (with his background from the same junior college I came from) was just a blessing. It was just someone finally giving me that chance, and I just wanted to take it and make the best out of it.

White certainly ran with the opportunity. After serving in more of a reserve role in 2020, he emerged as the starting back this past season. He rushed for 1,006 yards and 15 touchdowns while also adding 456 yards receiving as well.

His play was good enough to earn him All PAC 12 Second-Team honors in 2021.

Pass Catching Ability

White is one of the better, and more experienced, pass catching running backs in this draft class. His 456 yards receiving this past year are a testament to just how well he developed that area of his game.

I asked him if this was a natural ability to for him or if he really had to work on his ability as a pass catcher:

I think it was a natural thing, but of course you have to put in the work because nobody is perfect. I always worked on it and always pushed myself in this area. I liked to compete with the wide receivers.

I'm a competitor and I didn't want the receivers to be able to do something better than I could do. I was just trying to put myself in a position to be the best player on the field for my team.

I just kept working on it and kept getting better at it. I just tried to make my game smooth. At the end of the day, I don't want to look like I'm forcing anything. I want everything to be smooth, so I can take advantage of the opportunities I get (on the field). 

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Beautiful Jump Cuts

My favorite aspect of White's game, on film, is his ability to hit the jump cut. He was masterful at setting up defenders with this move and he was able to create so much extra yardage as a result.

I, again, asked if this was more of natural ability or something he worked at to perfect:

It is important to practice it. Every running back coach that I've had has had me practice it through drills. It kind of is a reaction thing too, it is really natural. Some guys one cut more and some guys jump cut, it really is more of what you feel and where you are most comfortable.

The jump cut is something that I like a lot. Your body just naturally does it and I like that it is a little sudden/quick movement. It sets guys up better than a one cut to me. It is something that I have worked on for sure, but it is something that I feel comfortable and natural with.

I brought up that he looked a lot like Marlon Mack with his ability in this area. White is obviously a much bigger player and different style of back, but his proficiency in this area reminded me so much of the veteran Colts' running back.

I asked him if he studied any of Mack's film over the past few years:

I have seen him and I know of him, but I haven't studied a lot of his film. If there is really one guy that I watch and study in the NFL, I would say it is Le'Veon (Bell). I just like what he brought to the game and how he was able to do so many things out of the backfield.

That is really the only guy I would say that I've watched a lot of film on. I've seen some games of Marlon Mack though, and I know he went for 1,000 yards before JT (Jonathan Taylor) got there. I respect his game a lot, though.

Senior Bowl Expectations

White has been invited to participate in the Reese's Senior Bowl at the end of this month due to his breakout final season.

I asked White what he is trying to show teams and scouts down at that event:

Honestly, it hasn't really even crossed my mind. I'm the type of guy that doesn't like to think about what I need to prove to anybody else. Really I just want to go there and be me. I want to show them the same thing I showed them at Arizona State and be a competitor like I always am.

I don't want to go down there and try to do too much or do extra. Just going to do the best that I can and take care of the opportunities in front of me.

NFL Outlook

I finished off the interview with the same way I finish all of them. I asked White how he would sell himself to a team this offseason. I asked him what my team would be getting, on and off the field, if they draft him:

I feel like they are getting a guy that can do it all. When I say do it all, I mean a guy like Deebo Samuel. I'm not putting myself in that category, because he is having a historic season, but I can do it all for a team.

If you need a guy that can catch kickoff returns or punt returns, a guy that can catch out of the backfield or block, and a guy that can run the ball, I'm that kind of player. I'm a competitor, an athlete, and a very coachable player that will do whatever he needs to do to help the team win.

While the Colts may not be in the market for a running back in this class, White should be an asset to whichever team selects him. He is a smooth runner that has excellent hands out of the backfield.

With the NFL's recent trend with committee-style backs, White should be able to carve out a nice role for himself in the league.


Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.

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