This New England Patriots Running Back Is Putting Up Better Numbers Than Elite Receivers

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

New England Patriots running back James White is catching more balls than some of the best receivers in the game.

Bleacher Report wrote the following about White:

White has led the team or tied for the team lead in receptions in six of eight contests this season. In fact, his 55 receptions through eight games are the third-most by a running back in league history, according to ESPN Stats & Info (via’s Mike Reiss). The fifth-year back ranks seventh overall in receptions ahead of standout wide receivers such as the Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones, Houston Texans’ DeAndre Hopkins, Green Bay Packers’ Davante Adams and Cleveland Browns’ Jarvis Landry.

I tried to tell everybody who would listen to me nearly a decade ago that James White was going to be a dominant football player. Back in 2010, I was sitting in Bozeman, Montana when I started hearing whispers out of Madison there was a young running back from Florida that was going to make some serious noise for the Wisconsin Badgers. (RELATED: Have The Wisconsin Badgers Destroyed My Life? Here’s The Answer)

Naturally, you’re always a little skeptical when you hear stuff like that, especially because my Badgers were stacked on the depth chart. Well, it became clear very quickly White had all the talent he needed to dominate college and have a long career in the NFL.


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Despite the fact anybody with eyes and a brain could tell he was incredibly talented, White never received the respect he deserved at UW or in the NFL. That was up until he was the hero the Patriots needed in the Super Bowl to beat the Falcons.

The electric running back’s greatest value is catching out of the backfield when it comes to his NFL game, and he’s clearly doing it better than most people anticipated. You know you’re doing something right when you’re getting more passes than Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins this far into the season.

I’ll never forget when I told anybody who would give me the time of day White was the running back most likely to succeed out of the Badgers backfield with John Clay and Montee Ball. All the “experts” went a different way.

I hate to rub it in when I’m right, but it’s been awesome watching James White since his freshman year. He’s just an incredibly underrated player that is finally getting the attention he deserved a longtime ago.

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