The Las Vegas Raiders knew they had to upgrade their linebacker corps this past offseason. They aggressively addressed that need by signing a couple players this past free agency. Even though it seemed like they had stopped making moves at the position, they added one last player once the draft was over, University of Nevada, Las Vegas product Javin White.Â
The Las Vegas Raiders signed a couple free agents, Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski, to shore up their linebackers room. Also, they foresee rookie Tanner Muse switching from safety to linebacker this upcoming season. Coming back are incumbent Nicholas Morrow, and a healthy Marquel Lee. For that reason, it was interesting to see them bring in White.
The Raiders will likely use only two linebackers in most downs this upcoming season. Littleton and Kwiatkowski are almost guaranteed to start, which means someone else will play in sub-packages. That could be Morrow, Lee, or Muse depending on how training camp unfolds.
In 2019, the Raiders carried four linebackers on their active roster. This year, they could have the same number or maybe five. Littleton and Kwiatkowski aren’t going anywhere, which means Morrow, Lee, Muse, and White will be fighting for two, maybe three spots. Nevertheless, White is unfazed by the challenge.
Javin White Has Made It so Far for a Reason
White has beaten the odds and overcome everything life throws at him. Even though he didn’t receive an invite to this year’s Scouting Combine, and saw his Pro-Day be canceled, he garnered enough interest by the Raiders to sign as an undrafted free agent. Although some players may make it to the NFL in talent alone, others achieve it out of sheer determination. White is one of those cases. In a recent conversation he had with Â Josh Schrock of NBC Bay Area Sports, White talks about his drive. Additionally, he talks about his passion for sports and how the Raiders are the best place to have landed in.
My confidence and my play. Even when I was in college, I was a confident player. I refer back to college because that’s what people have to go off. When people watch my game they understand that feistiness I have. Everything I come with, that’s pure heart. I love this sport. I love everything about it. Me being with the Raiders, I feel like this is a great program for me. I can be myself. I’m one of those guys that’s going to get after it, and I won’t be denied.
White is right, he may have gotten a couple breaks here and there on his way to the NFL. However, it’s his will and vision that has helped him get to where he is.
Right Back to a Familiar Position
White doesn’t see himself as a star. Instead, he acknowledges he has had to earn what he has. Back in college, he was willing to do whatever UNLV asked him to do. His mindset will have to carry over to the pros as the hill he needs to climb to make the roster is steep.
At this time right now, it’s more. I got out of the mud. Nothing was given to me. When I came to UNLV I wasn’t a highly-ranked dude. I worked my way up. I redshirted, played special teams just like everyone else had to do. Then, when I blew up, I never looked back. So when people ask me, ‘Oh, were you always a star?’ No. I got it straight out the mud like a lot of people do in college. Now, I guess I just got to get out the mud again in the NFL.
If somehow White doesn’t make the Raiders roster, it won’t be because of lack of effort. White’s motivation is second to none. He knows what he wants and will do everything in his power to reach his goal. That’s the kind of players the Raiders need if they want to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
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Top Photo: Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal