Verbal View - Kyzir White

West Virginia added a second safety to its football recruiting class of 2016 when Kyzir White pledged to the Mountaineers on Tuesday. We analyze his potential position and outlook for playing time on WVU teams of the future.


There's a long list of "plus" attributes for White, who spent last year manning a deep safety role at Lackawanna. He already has major college safety size (6-2, 210 lbs.), so he shouldn't be physically overmatched at West Virginia. He's been able to hone his defensive skills while playing on the back end of the defense, which has given him the chance to see entire schemes develop in front of him -- an item that he lists as one of the strengths of his game.

White will also get the chance to play closer to the line this year, as he revealed that the Falcons will deploy him as a strong safety at times. He had only 1.5 tackles for loss (out of 34 total) as a freshman at Lackawanna, which is reflective more of his assignment than any shortcoming, so it will be good for him to get more experience playing in the washing machine near the line of scrimmage. That will also help prepare him for his projected spur position at West Virginia.

While his first assignment last year was to stay "as deep as the deepest" and prevent anyone from getting behind him, White also came up with an interception and two pass breakups last year. He's likely to pile up bigger numbers this year, so it's a major plus that West Virginia got his commitment at this point in the recruiting process.


White began his career as an offensive player, and only gravitated toward defense later in his high school career. He has obviously taken to that role with relish, but he doesn't have quite the level of experience that other defenders who have played there for longer do. Combined with the fact that he will only have two years of eligibility remaining at WVU (albeit with a redshirt if need be), he'll need to overcome the experience factor that others will hold over him.

This might be stretching the point a bit, but will Kyzir feel any pressure to live up to the achievements of brother Kevin, or Ka'Raun, who joins the team this fall? He'll have a bit more attention than the average new enrollee, through no fault of his own, and while that's completely unfair there's no doubt it will be there. That's why it was so good to hear him say that he made his West Virginia decision on his own, and that his brothers' attendance at WVU had little impact on his choice. The guess is that he'll be able to put that aside, if it even crosses his radar, but it's still an item to watch for.


White nicely slots into a position that will have a good bit of turnover as he arrives. Karl Joseph and KJ Dillon, the starters at spur and bandit, depart after this year, as does fellow Lackawanna product Dayron Wilson. On the back end, Jarrod Harper, Jeremy Tyler and Dravon Henry will all return, but even if one moves down there will still be plenty of chances for White to earn early playing time.

White joins Dylan Tonkery as safety recruits in this class, but give WVU's senior and junior-heavy roster, they won't likely be the last players at this position to join the class. As a juco, White helps spread out safeties in terms of remaining years of eligibility, especially if he can earn playing time in his first season.

White's commitment places West Virginia 29th in the current recruiting rankings, and fourth in the Big 12, behind TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech.

2016 West Virginia Football Verbal Commitments

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