Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Crimson Countdown: DeAndrew White
By Alex Scarborough
During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory.
Expectations for 2013: If he hadn't been hurt, White might still be starting alongside Kevin Norwood at receiver, as he did for the first five games last season. But a major knee injury sustained against Ole Miss cost the talented junior his season and opened the door for Amari Cooper to break into the starting rotation, where he developed into the most prolific rookie at the position in school history. Even though the possibility of becoming a starter again seems minute, it doesn't mean White won't be a major contributor on offense. After a strong spring in which he showed he's close to 100 percent again, it's safe to say he'll have an opportunity to be among the first receivers off the bench.
Best-case scenario: White will see the field plenty and could break back into the starting rotation in the likely event of an injury during the course of the season. (SEC defenses aren't kind, and the position has had its fair share of durability issues in years past.) White, if healthy, is a guy who can stretch the field and allow offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier to go three, four or five wide any time because of the depth he and his fellow receivers will provide.
Worst-case scenario: Depth cuts both ways, though, as White won't be the only reserve with starting potential. Kenny Bell, Chris Black, Christion Jones and Raheem Falkins will all vie for time this season as well, leaving White as high as third on the depth chart or as low as seventh depending on how things shake out. The thing fighting against White is his lack of a niche skill. He doesn't have elite size like Falkins or superior speed like Bell, Black or Jones. But as a guy like Norwood can attest, the game is about more than measureables.
Future impact: White should be a steady contributor for Alabama over the next two seasons. When Norwood and Bell graduate after this year, an opportunity to start will again open up. But again, there will be plenty of contention from others, including the No. 2 receiver in the ESPN 150, Robert Foster.