Chicago Bears: Kevin White’s Unusual Route to the NFL


If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White coasted his way to becoming the N0. 6 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Alabama’s Amari Cooper, who had some questioning whether he or White was the draft’s best receiver, was a four-star, top-50 recruit in the nation in 2012–according to–and stared at ‘Bama for three years.

While Cooper’s experienced a relatively “easy” path to the NFL Draft, where he was taken No. 4 by the Oakland Raiders, White did not have that luxury.

A combination of poor grades and a lack of Divison I offers forced White to attend Lackawanna College in Scranton, Penn.–about an hour-and-a-half drive from his hometown of Emmaus, Penn. There, he would try to get to the NFL the hard way: doing well enough at Lackawanna to earn a D1 offer, and then becoming a college-standout to grab the attention of NFL scouts.

But before he could begin his journey to the NFL, White had to actually play a game. His first season resulted in a redshirt year, and, according to Michael Silver of, White was declared ineligible his second season because of “a missed deadline on filling financial-aid forms.”

According to Silver, White was considering  going to Bloomsburg College with his brother, as a way of showing that he gave it his all and he had nothing left to give.

Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Kevin White catches a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m like, ‘I’m just gonna go to Bloomsburg, be able to play with my brother … basically, just be a regular college kid,” White said.  “You know, if I want to party, go ahead … because I gave it my all and it’s not working.”

His brother did not end up going to Bloomsburg, prompting White to return to his current college.

Finally, in his third season at Lackawanna, White was able to take the field. 

The future Mountaineer emerged and caught the likes of Hawaii and Texas Tech as a three-star prospect. Then, the wide receivers coach from West Virginia contacted White, and he eventually took his talents to Morgantown to play for WVU.

A not-so-amazing season, injuries and quarterback changes prevented White from going on with his original plan to be a one-and-done player at WVU, so he decided to stay one more year.

That’s when Kevin White rose to the occasion. In his last chance to prove NFL scouts that he was an NFL receiver, White became one of college’s most prolific receivers. He followed up his 35-catch junior year with a senior year highlighted by 1,447 receiving yards complemented by 109 receptions.

It was clear that White made his national presence known, and he got the attention of scouts and analysts everywhere. Now, he sits as a possible option to line-up opposite of Alshon Jeffery in the Bears’ starting offense.

White has already made quite the impression on Chicago’s star receiver.

Nov 1, 2014; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Kevin White (11) runs with ball after a catch during the first quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs at Milan Puskar Stadium. TCU Horned Frogs defeated West Virginia Mountaineers 31-30. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

He’s a great player,” Jeffery said to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “He’s an explosive player. We can’t wait for the season. What he’s going to do on the field is going to be great.”

The road to the NFL is easy for some and hard for others. For Kevin White, it was a roller-coaster ride. One that he will carry with him his entire career.

While the White has reached the finish line, that is to make an NFL squad, the road to the finish line tends to be where one gets the most from their experiences.

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