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2015 NFL DRAFT
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LenDale White

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 238 | College: Southern California
 
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Overview

White teamed with Reggie Bush to not only give the Trojans a running back tandem aptly named "Thunder and Lightning," but also provided Southern California with the most dominating backfield in recent college history. The duo scored at least one touchdown in 37 consecutive games and both scored in 19 of those contests.

White comes from a family with good sports bloodlines, but he is certain to surpass the exploits of his cousins, former Notre Dame (1998) and Pittsburgh (2000-01) tailback/wide receiver Darcey Levy, ex-Wyoming (1998-2002) linebacker Herman White and former Colorado point guard Chauncey Billups, now an All-Star point guard with the Detroit Pistons.

White was a 2002 Super Prep, Prep Star All-American and Prep Football Report All-American selection at Chatfield High School. He added Super Prep Elite 50, Tom Lemming Top 100, Super Prep All-Midlands, Prep Star All-Midlands, Tom Lemming All-Midland, Orange County Register Fab 15, Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year, Rocky Mountain News All-Colorado first-team and Rocky Mountain News Class 5A All-State first-team honors as a senior tailback.

That year, White rushed for 1,683 yards and 21 touchdowns. As a junior in 2001, he earned Rocky Mountain News All-Colorado first-team and Rocky Mountain News Class 5A All-State first-team recognition. He rushed for 1,850 yards with 30 scores, plus had 185 receiving yards with two touchdowns. Chatfield went 14-0 in 2001 and was the Class 5A champion. His coach at Chatfield was Dave Logan, the former Colorado All-American wide receiver who played in the National Football League (1976-83, Cleveland; 1984, Denver).

White played the 1999 and 2000 seasons at Denver South High, where he made the Rocky Mountain News All-Colorado first team in 2000 and the Rocky Mountain News Class 5A All-State first team both years. He finished his prep career (started all four years) as Colorado's career rushing leader, with 7,803 yards.

White was thrust into the action as a true freshman in 2003 at Southern California. The Freshman All-American second-team choice did not get to see much action until midseason, but he still produced the second-best season by a freshman in school history. He led the team with 141 carries for 754 yards (5.3 avg) and a school freshman single-season record thirteen touchdowns.

Despite playing the second half of the 2004 season with a right ankle sprain, White again led the team in rushing with 1,103 yards and fifteen touchdowns on 203 attempts (5.4 avg). The second-team All-Pac 10 Conference pick also caught eleven passes for 97 yards (8.8 avg) and a pair of scores.

White's eligibility for the 2005 season was in question, as he had to spend the offseason improving his academic status. He also missed spring drills due to arthroscopic left ankle surgery. He appeared in every game as a reserve, finishing second on the team with 197 carries for 1,302 yards (6.6 avg). What makes that total even more impressive is he gained 913 of those yards after initial contact, thus living up to his "Thunder" billing.

He led the nation in scoring with 156 points (second with an average of 12.0 ppg) and 26 total touchdowns. His 24 scores on the ground set school and Pac-10 Conference single-season records. He also caught fourteen passes for 219 yards (15.6 avg) and two touchdowns.

In 39 games with the Trojans, White started only eleven times. He ranks eighth on the school's career record list with 3,159 yards on 541 carries (5.8 avg). His 52 rushing touchdowns set a USC all-time record and ranks second in Pac-10 annals. White also caught 31 passes for 331 yards (10.7 avg) and five scores. His 57 total touchdowns tied a Pac-10 career record and ranks twelfth in NCAA Division 1-A history.

Analysis

Positives: Has a powerfully built frame, running at a proper pad level to gain positive yardage after initial contact … Has thick, muscular arms and legs, big bubble and very good overall power … Flashes good initial quickness and combined with his strength and power, he can easily work his way through trash … Has natural running instincts and awareness, showing a good feel for holes developing … His strong lower body allows him to run through arm tackles … Seems to get stronger when breaking into the second level and is a load to bring down in isolated coverage … More of a veer and weave runner in the open, but has that deceptive acceleration and burst to clear the line of scrimmage … Protects the ball with good urgency and has only put it on the ground four times in his career … Has above average plant-and-drive ability, doing a nice job of setting up and using his blocks … Has excellent balance and forward lean to burst through even the tightest of creases … Has the toughness and strength to take on and stand up blitzers.

Negatives: Has some hip stiffness and needs to gather some in order to make the up field cut on the perimeter … Not as productive on the option pitch, as he looks a bit hesitant attacking the crease on that play … More of a pile mover, as he has deceptive speed, but not enough to elude and win foot races going long distances … Adequate route runner, but his hip stiffness prevents him from running crisp patterns in the short area … Can move the pile as a runner, but after the catch, he will take some false steps, preventing him from generating a sudden burst to elude.

Overshadowed by teammate Reggie Bush throughout his career, White is one of the most punishing inside runners in the collegiate game, evident by the 963 yards gained after initial contact in 2005. He has a thick upper body with solid muscle tone throughout. He shows well-built arms, a big bubble, thick legs and while not as explosive as Bush, White generates good open-field quickness and body control.

For a player built for power, White also has excellent initial quickness. He demonstrates the body lean and balance to fall forward and consistently gains positive yardage after contact. He has good lateral agility, but has some hip stiffness, which prevents him from generating an explosive second gear at times. He compensates for that hip stiffness with more veer and weave in his running style.

Coming out of his stance, White shows the ability to attack the holes with excellent power and leg drive. He can reach top speed quickly to break into the second level and has enough juke in his run to bounce to the corners, but is best as a between-the-tackles back. He flashes good quickness on the move and a sudden burst up the seam. He has natural running instincts and is alert to defensive coverage schemes. You can see on film his ability to anticipate openings and squeeze through tight spaces.

His ability to create room running inside and stay low in his pads lets him pick his way through trash. He has above average contact balance and generally keeps his feet when running inside. He is not as productive on the option pitch, where he is not always quick to see the crease. His vision and strength are the assets he uses, along with keeping his feet moving on contact to move the pile.

White runs with very good balance and body lean. He has enough burst to clear the line of scrimmage and while he will not win too many long distance races, he can separate once he gets into the open. His strong lower body and compact build allow him to run through arm tackles and he appears stronger when he gets into the second level.

He is not used much on the toss, but has a deceptive burst and acceleration to gain decent yardage along the perimeter. He has good acceleration and does change some angles, but is best when driving straight forward as a runner. He will never be a shake-and-bake type of back, but can usually gain yardage with his veer and weave. He does a good job of setting up tacklers and runs off blocks well. White has functional lateral range, but not enough to make the initial tackler miss.

His upper body strength is used well to protect the ball. He has only four fumbles on 541 carries, so ball security is good. While not used as a lead blocker, he has enough interest and will attempt to stand his ground leading through the holes. He might not stone defenders as much as you want from a player his size, but he has the power to be effective with additional technique refinement.

His stamina, leg drive, size and power will make White a punishing back who can easily handle the brunt of the rushing load. With his athletic ability and frame, he could be an ideal fit for a team using a one-back attack. He is still a work in progress as a receiver, but can develop into a Corey Dillon type with his hard-charging running style. Reggie Bush might have garnered all the ink in the press, but when the Trojans were pressed to score, White was the man generally called upon to get six points, something he did with great consistency.

Career Notes

White finished his career with 3,159 yards rushing, the eighth-best total in school history behind Reggie Bush (3169, 2003-05), Mike Garrett (3314, 63-65), O.J. Simpson (3423, 1967-68), Ricky Bell (3689, 1973-76), Anthony Davis (3724, 1972-74), Marcus Allen (4810, 1978-81) and Charles White (6245, 111976-79) … His 52 rushing touchdowns broke the previous school record of 49 by Charles White and rank second in Pac-10 Conference history behind Ken Simonton of Oregon State (56, 1998-2001) … His 52 scores on the ground rank 14th in NCAA Division 1-A annals … Only fumbled four times (all in 2004) on 541 carries … Added five scores receiving … His 57 total touchdowns set a school career record and are one shy of the Pac-10 mark of 57 by Simonton … Those 57 scores also rank 12th in Division 1-A history.

2005 Season

All-American second-team selection by The NFL Draft Report, adding third-team honors from the Associated Press … Second-team All-Pac 10 Conference choice … Semi-finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back … Sat out spring drills to concentrate on improving his academic status … Also underwent arthroscopic left ankle surgery during the spring … Despite not starting any of thirteen games he played in, he still led the nation in scoring with 156 points (second with an average of 12.0 ppg), breaking the Pac-10 single-season record of 150 points by Skip Hicks of UCLA in 1997 … His 24 touch-downs rushing led the nation and set school and conference single-season records, topping the old Pac-10 mark of 22 scores by Washington's Corey Dillon (1996), Marcus Allen (1981), O.J. Simpson (1968) and Hicks (22) … Ran 197 times for 1,302 yards (6.6 avg), becoming the first Trojan since Marcus Allen (1,563 in 1980 and 2,427 in 1981) to rush for over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons … Caught 14 passes for 219 yards (15.6 avg) and two scores … His 26 total touchdowns broke the Pac-10 season record of 25 by Hicks in 1997 … Gained 913 of his rushing yards after initial contact … 94 of his carries resulted in first downs, including converting 18 third-down plays and three more on fourth-down … Ran for over 10 yards 28 times and for over 20 yards twelve times … Did not fumble all year, extending his string to 278 carries without a fumble (71 in 2004, 197 in 2005) … Seven of his receptions were good for first downs, including two coming on third-down plays … Teaming with Reggie Bush (1,740 yards) at tailback, the duo became the first running back tandem in school history to gain over 1,000 yards each in the same season and only the second duo in Pac-10 annals to accomplish that feat, joining California's Russell White (1,000) and Anthony Wallace (1,002) in 1990.

2005 Game Analysis

Hawaii … Opened the season with 69 yards on 13 carries … Six of those runs resulted in first downs, with three coming on third-down plays.

Arkansas … Rushed ten times for 60 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 30 yards on two receptions … USC scored on a 3-yard run by White to cap an 85-yard, 16-play drive in the second quarter, followed by White's 1-yard touchdown that concluded a 4-play, 84-yard drive in the third quarter.

Oregon … Ran for 111 yards and two scores on 15 attempts as the offense continued to look unstoppable after a few early gaffes … Seven of his carries resulted in first downs … Oregon's offense and defense both stalled, and the Trojans scored on White's 1-yard plow into the end zone in the third quarter … Closed out the game's scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run, as the team gained 278 yards on the ground.

Arizona State … Gained a career-high 197 yards (186 in the second half) on 19 carries with touchdowns of 32 & and 46 yards in a 38-28 victory … Earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors, as four of his runs were for 20 yards or longer and nine were good for first downs, including two on third-down plays … On their opening drive of the second half, the Trojans struck back, scoring in just over two minutes. After USC QB Matt Leinart brought the ball across midfield with four consecutive completions, White ran 32 yards through the defensive line for a Trojan touchdown, cutting the gap to 21-10 … The team gained 373 yards on the ground, with Reggie Bush chipping in with 158 … The strength and speed of White and Reggie Bush lifted the two-time defending national champions out of trouble on a sweltering Saturday in the desert, as the Trojans rallied from 18 points down at the half , breaking a Pac-10 and school record with their 26th victory in a row … "We just pounded the football in the second half," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "It was a beautiful job by the offensive linemen, a beautiful job by Reggie and White." … White's 46-yard touchdown romp in the fourth quarter put USC up 38-28 with 2:22 left after Arizona State's Sam Keller was intercepted for the fourth time … "They came out and fought real hard for a couple of quarters," White said. "Here at 'SC, we teach 'finish.' It's not about how the first and second quarter ends or the third, it's about how you finish in the fourth quarter."

Arizona … Scored a career-high four touchdowns, rushed for 179 yards on 24 carries and added 14 yards on a reception as the offense exploded for 724 yards … Ran for scores of 1, 2, 1 & 6 yards in a 42-21 triumph … "We had to come out pounding the ball," White said. "Our offensive line did a great job. Every time I got the ball, they had a great surge. They deserve all the credit." … This marked the third-straight 100-yard game for White, and combined with his 197 yards the previous game at Arizona State, it gave White 308 yards, the most yards in back-to-back games for USC since Marcus Allen's 398 in 1981 … Reggie Bush added 110 yards, making this the first time in Trojans history that a pair of runners eclipsed 100 yards in three consecutive games … White's four rushing scores were the most by a Trojan since Ryan Knight had four vs. California in 1986 … On his 24 carries, 17 resulted in first downs, with six runs for 10 yards or longer.

Notre Dame … Limited to 26 yards on 10 carries with a 3-yard touchdown.

Washington … Followed with 56 yards on 16 attempts and had two catches for 31 yards.

Washington State … Rushed for 155 yards with two touchdowns on 20 tries and caught a pass for 18 yards … Twelve of his runs were good for first downs, with five coming on third-down plays … Also had five carries for 10 yards or longer … Scored on runs of 2 & 21 yards … After the game, QB Matt Leinart commented "Can we get him (White) on a Hesiman list? He's just running really well for us right now. We're really close on and off the field. I'm proud to see him when he plays like this. He got out there today, got loose and made some plays and made some big receptions as well." … White responded by saying, "Our line is amazing. I just got the ball and the line went straight. We started off slow, but really toward the second half, we could do what ever we wanted to. I don't think I get overshadowed by Matt (Leinart) and Reggie (Bush). Those guys are two of history's best. I feel like I do a lot of things, score a lot of touchdowns and I've won two titles. I don't feel overshadowed at all."

Stanford … Rushed for 60 yards on 13 tries with a touchdown and also caught a 16-yard scoring pass … The Trojans drove 80 yards with the opening kickoff, with White running for a 2-yard touchdown … White then caught a 16-yard scoring pass from Matt Leinart on USC's next possession … The Trojans gained 395 yards in the first half and 529 overall. They entered as the national leader in scoring (49.75-point average) and total offense (601.63-yard average).

California … Ran for 90 yards on 16 attempts with three more scores in USC's 22nd-straight Pac-10 victory, a 35-10 rout of slumping California … Had short touchdown runs of 1, 6 & 2 yards … White surpassed 1,000 yards rushing this season, joining Reggie Bush in giving USC two 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in school history and just the second time in Pac-10 annals … On the game's opening drive, USC safety Darnell Bing intercepted Cal QB Joe Ayoob's first pass. The Trojans quickly drove for White's 1-yard touchdown run, with USC QB Matt Leinart going 7-of-7 for 50 yards along the way. Leinart capped two second-quarter drives with scoring runs of 6 and 3 yards, pointing at USC's fans in celebration after both. "He took a page out of me and Reggie's book," White said. "People think that Matt is just a drop-back passer. He showed that he can run the ball. He got in the end zone a couple of times, and they weren't easy runs. That's what big-time players do in those situations."

Fresno State … Held to 21 yards on seven runs, but scored twice, including a 2-yarder that gave the Trojans a 47-42 lead in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winning points in a 50-42 victory.

UCLA … Ran for 154 yards on 14 carries (11.0 avg) with touchdowns of 19 & 8 yards and also caught a 24-yard scoring pass … Set the USC career record for overall touchdowns at 54 and tied Charles White's school mark for rushing touchdowns at 49.

Texas (Rose Bowl) … Closed out his career with 20 carries for 124 yards and three touch-downs … Had scoring runs of 4 yards in the first quarter, 3 yards in the third quarter and 12 yards on the team's next third quarter drive, but with the team trailing 41-38, White gained only one yard on a fourth-&-2 play in the closing minute of play, giving Texas a 41-38 victory and the national championship … "We knew if we got that fourth-&-2, that was going to be the ballgame," Texas All-American defensive tackle Rod Wright said. But when White came up inches short, Wright and other Texas defenders jumped in the air and charged off the field.

2004 Season

Sophomore All-American second-team selection by College Football News … All-Pac 10 Conference first-team pick by ESPN … Played in thirteen games, starting eleven contests … Came off the bench vs. Washington State and Oklahoma … Bothered the second half of the season with a right ankle sprain that he suffered in the Washington clash … Became the 23rd player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season, carrying 203 times for 1,103 yards (5.4 avg) and fifteen touchdowns … Caught eleven passes for 97 yards (8.8 avg) and a pair of scores … The opposition recovered two of his four fumbles.

2004 Game Analysis

Virginia Tech … In his first career start, White totaled 78 yards on 15 runs.

Colorado State … Followed with 14 attempts for 123 yards and touchdowns of 11, 1 & 3 yards, as the team totaled 322 yards on the ground.

Brigham Young … Rushed 17 times for 110 yards and a 43-yard score … Teamed with Reggie Bush (124 yards) to become the Trojans' first running back tandem to each gain over 100 yards rushing in the same game since Chad Morton and LaVale Woods did so vs. Oregon State in 1996.

Stanford … Limited to 24 yards on 11 runs, but scored on a 2-yard burst with 6:15 to play to give USC a 31-28 decision.

California … Followed with 52 yards on 11 carries and scored on a 5-yard pass from QB Matt Leinart.

Arizona State … Added 68 yards on 16 attempts and 22 yards on two receptions.

Washington … Collected 93 yards on 17 rushes with 3 & 2-yard third quarter touchdowns, but left the game after turning the ball over on a fumble, as he suffered a sprained right ankle on that play.

Washington State … Was back on the field the following week, coming off the bench to run for 77 yards on 16 tries, including touchdowns of 1 & 7 yards.

Oregon State … Fumbled twice, with the defense recovering one of those miscues, but still picked up 116 yards on 25 carries and scored on a 5-yard run.

Arizona … Amassed 118 yards on 16 attempts with 3, 2 & 6-yard touchdowns.

UCLA … Gained 75 yards on 16 rushing attempts and made two catches for 13 yards.

Oklahoma (Orange Bowl) … Came off the bench to total 118 yards on 15 carries … Ran for touchdowns of 6 & 8 yards as the offense generated 525 yards in a 55-19 triumph.

2003 Season

College Football News Freshman All-American second-team choice … Named Pac 10 Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News and College Football News … Shared ESPN Pac-10 co-Newcomer of the Year honors … Despite not starting any games or seeing much action until the season's fifth game, White led the team with 141 carries for 754 yards (5.3 avg) and thirteen touchdowns … His thirteen scoring runs set a school single-season record for freshmen … Not much involved in the passing attack, but did score once on six receptions for 15 yards … His fourteen total touchdowns tied the school freshman record, first set by Mike Williams in 2002.

2003 Game Analysis

Hawaii … Rushed ten times for 58 yards, scoring his first collegiate touchdown on a third quarter 5-yard run … Added a 20-yard scoring scamper in the fourth quarter.

Arizona State … Had his first career 100-yard performance, totaling 140 yards on 21 chances with touchdowns of 25 & 6 yards.

Stanford … Followed with 23 rushes for 108 yards, including 6 & 3-yard scores, becoming the first Trojan freshman to produce back-to-back 100-yard games.

Notre Dame … Picked up 75 yards on 16 runs.

Washington … Scored on a 21-yard scamper.

Washington State … Gained a season-high 149 yards on 12 carries, scoring on a 3-yard run … Set up another touchdown with a 66-yard jaunt.

Arizona … Ran 15 times for 90 yards, including 1 & 43-yard touchdowns.

UCLA … Followed with a1-yard scoring plunge.

Michigan (Rose Bowl) … Had eight carries for 26 yards and caught a 6-yard touchdown pass.

Injury Report

2004: Suffered a right ankle sprain vs. Washington (10/23) and the injury would affect his cutting ability the rest of the season.

2005: Sat out spring drills to concentrate on academics, but also underwent arthroscopic left ankle surgery to remove a torn cartilage.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.49 in the 40-yard dash … 380-pound bench press … 330-pound hang clean … 33.5-inch vertical jump … 32-inch arm length … 9 1/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Chatfield (Littleton, Col.) High School as a junior and senior, playing football for former NFL receiver and Chatfield head coach Dave Logan … 2002 Super Prep, Prep Star All-American and Prep Football Report All-American selection … Added Super Prep Elite 50, Tom Lemming Top 100, Super Prep All-Midlands, Prep Star All-Midlands, Tom Lemming All-Midland, Orange County Register Fab 15, Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year, Rocky Mountain News All-Colorado first-team and Rocky Mountain News Class 5A All-State first-team honors as a senior tailback … That year, White rushed for 1,683 yards and 21 touchdowns … As a junior in 2001, he earned Rocky Mountain News All-Colorado first-team and Rocky Mountain News Class 5A All-State first-team recognition, as he rushed for 1,850 yards with 30 scores, plus had 185 receiving yards with two touchdowns … Chatfield went 14-0 in 2001 and was the Class 5A champion … Played the 1999 and 2000 seasons at Denver South High, where he made the Rocky Mountain News All-Colorado first team in 2000 and the Rocky Mountain News Class 5A All-State first team both years … Finished his prep career (started all four years) as Colorado's career rushing leader, with 7,803 yards.

Personal

Sociology major … Comes from a family with good sports bloodlines, but he is certain to surpass the exploits of his cousins, former Notre Dame (1998) and Pittsburgh (2000-01) tailback/wide receiver Darcey Levy, ex-Wyoming (1998-2002) linebacker Herman White and former Colorado point guard Chauncey Billups, now an All-NBA point guard with the Detroit Pistons … High school head coach Dave Logan was a former Colorado All-American wide receiver who played in the National Football League (1976-83, Cleveland; 1984, Denver) … Born 12/20/84 … Resides in Denver, Colorado.

 
 

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