The West Virginia Mountaineers struggled a great deal in 2013, finishing the year just 4-8 and 2-7 in Big 12 play. Dana Holgorsen might be coaching for his job in 2014 and will need to recapture some of the offensive explosiveness that made him one of college football’s premier offensive minds just a few years ago. For that to happen, he needs senior wide receiver Kevin White to step up and become a leader on offense this fall.
The 6-foot-3, 209-pound White has a great blend of size and speed that make him a threat vertically and in red-zone situations. He finished third on the team receptions (35) last season, second in yardage (507), and first in touchdowns (5). While those numbers are much lower than West Virginia expects out of a starting receiver, White’s production was hurt somewhat by the unsettled quarterback situation in 2013.
But having to deal with different quarterbacks under center wasn’t the whole story for White, who suffered some major ups and downs throughout the year. He started the year on the sidelines with a foot injury, got himself into the doghouse with a dropped touchdown pass against the Georgia State Panthers, suffered a costly fumble in the redzone against the Oklahoma Sooners (which likely killed their upset bid), and disappeared for long stretches in the year.
West Virginia can’t afford for him to go through those same mistakes in 2014 or the offense will likely sputter again, no matter how settled the quarterback situation gets. White is a key contributor who unlocks so many options for this offense when he is playing well. His production helps get Mario Alford loose on the opposite side while opening things up underneath for Daikiel Shorts in the slot.
If the Mountaineers hope to turn things around this season, Kevin White must emerge as a leader on offense. The key for him will be playing at a consistently high level and providing some much needed playmaking ability in the passing game.