OU lookahead: West Virginia

The best of West Virginia's arsenal is a game-changing wide receiver

A lot of programs around the country passed on Kevin White.

He mired at Lackawanna College for three years, without the tape nor the grades to make it onto an FBS roster immediately after high school.

White, a 6-foot-3 210-pounder, is a changed man.

“Kevin’s best football is still ahead of him,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “. . . He’s just continuously getting better. He’s on the same page with Clint (Trickett), which makes a difference.”

Where college coaches took no notice, NFL scouts are starting to change the trend. Some NFL scouts have likened him to Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He is the perfect ‘X’ receiver, capable of beating press coverage with his size and outrunning more cornerbacks put in his way.

West Virginia has a full cache of talented wide receivers, but White is among the elite. Oklahoma would be best served to take the scouts’ advice on this one.

“He’s a great player,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “He’s making plays in every game.”

Albeit in a pass-dominant offense, White currently leads the Big 12 Conference in receptions per game (10.7) and is second in receiving yards per game (153.3). He is second in the nation in both receptions and yards.

He has only two touchdowns, but he is still learning the technique of a go-to receiver.

“He was the best player on the field last week,” Holgorsen said after his team won a shootout with Maryland during which nine touchdowns were scored and quarterback Clint Trickett was named national offensive player of the week by some publications. “. . . He’s playing well. Big, physical, fast: He is playing with a lot of confidence and has a great working relationship with Clint at this point.”

Oklahoma won’t match up directly with White – leaving neither Julian Wilson nor Zack Sanchez with the responsibility of containing the potential early round pick in the NFL Draft.

Instead, the Sooners will be forced to manipulate coverages without taking away from defending on other parts of the field. White’s best weapon is that two of his fellow receivers also rank in the top 10 in the conference in yards per game.

West Virginia also has the seventh-leading rusher in the Big 12, sophomore running back Rushel Shell. Wilson had just one piece of advice.

“Once you're on your man, you're on your man if he runs a cross or straight up the field. If you're in man coverage, stay on him,” he said.

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