Training camp is right around the corner, and as always, there are several key storylines to keep an eye on at this point in the offseason.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll highlight some of the more noteworthy ones set to play out at Jack Hammett Sports Complex as well as during the preseason.
Can Kyzir White Pick Up Where He Left Off?
Kyzir White looked nothing like a fourth-round pick adjusting to a new position for the first time during his rookie year.
“It’s hard for me to talk about Kyzir because I get real excited,” Head Coach Anthony Lynn said during last year’s training camp. “I don’t want to jump the gun on him. I want to get him in some games and watch him play, but just watching him run around here and some of the things he did in the offseason, I get real excited talking about him. His speed. His attitude. His explosiveness. He just has great instincts as a football player. We had a hammer on him (in the draft).”
Unfortunately, White’s 2018 campaign was cut short as he played only the first three weeks of the season before being shut down with a knee injury. As disappointing as that was, the talent he showed in limited action has the Bolts excited about his return.
Using his top-notch speed and athleticism, White took to his new linebacker position seamlessly after playing safety at West Virginia. He looked the part during training camp and the preseason before carrying that production into the regular season. White totaled 19 tackles, one tackle for loss, an interception and three passes defensed while starting all three games he appeared in.
Basically, he confirmed why many draft pundits named him one of the steals of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Now the big question is if he can pick up where he left off.
The fact he’s now “feeling like his old self” again is certainly encouraging.
“It means everything to me,” White said. “I’m happy to be back out there with the guys. It was a dream come true to be on an NFL team, so I’m just trying to take full advantage of it. It was tough, but I have a lot of good people in my corner. I was able to get through it and I was good mentally. I’m just happy to be back now.”
While he played far fewer games than he envisioned, and noted he’s still learning the intricacies of the position, the small taste he had of playing linebacker has him salivating for more.
“I think there’s always room for improvement,” White said. “I definitely feel like I’m a lot better now as far as the mental aspect of the game. It definitely moved faster for me just with playing a new position. I’m closer to the ball. It was definitely faster, but I think I adjusted pretty well.… Now I can just play fast. I don’t have to do too much thinking. I feel like last year I was thinking a little bit too much sometimes. This year, I feel way more comfortable just as far as my preparation and I know what I’m doing. I’m definitely going to make some mistakes still, but that comes with it.”
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