There’s more to Giants undrafted rookie Reggie White Jr. than a familiar name, a familiar number, and familiar stomping grounds.
No, White Jr. is not the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White, but the other Reggie White who played defensive line in the NFL in the 1990s.
No, he did not ask to wear No. 13 on the Giants as a rookie, becoming the first player to wear the number made famous by ex-Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. since his trade in March.
And no, he is not just “the next Miles Austin,” as another undrafted wideout from Monmouth University in New Jersey.
Reggie White Jr. is his own man, and he’s gunning for a spot on the New York Giants’ opening-day roster.
On the field and in the locker room, White Jr. is an intriguing addition to Giants’ camp.
At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, White Jr. could fill a much-needed role as a red zone target for Eli Manning. He is the second-tallest receiver on the 90-man roster, and the third-heaviest. But White Jr. isn’t just a big frame. His ball skills, combined with his size, make for a tough player to cover.
“He’s got outstanding hands,” Callahan said. “He has the ability to adjust to the ball and he tracks it very well. Sometimes he makes those difficult catches look easy.”
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Reggie White Jr. (13) makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
White Jr. has, what his Monmouth wide receivers coach, TJ DiMuzio, calls “deceptive speed” for a big guy. He runs about a 4.50 40-yard dash, which is comparable to smaller speed guys like Victor Cruz (4.47) and Antonio Brown (4.47), and slightly better than similar tall receivers like Mike Evans (4.53) and Davante Adams (4.56).
These gifts helped White Jr. to a record-setting career at Monmouth, a program that has yielded NFL receivers like Austin, Chris Hogan and Neal Sterling. No Monmouth Hawk, not even those guys, has ever had more receptions or receiving yards than White Jr., though.
He’s also the only receiver in school history to be named an All-American. He led the Big South in receiving yards, touchdowns, yards per game, and catches per game last year. He may not have been drafted due in part to his small school stature, but White Jr. became the best receiver ever at a campus known for producing NFL wideouts.