For the first time in his young career, Bucs linebacker Devin White was named as the NFC’s Defensive Rookie Of The Month by the NFL for his performance over the last four games, including his career day in Tampa Bay’s 28-11 victory over the Jaguars in Week 13.
The rookie out of LSU dominated in the first half of the Bucs’ win at Jacksonville, recording an interception and a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown. All three of those statistics were the first of White’s career. White finished the game seven tackles, one tackle for loss, one interception, one fumble recovery and one defensive touchdown. This came on the heels of White recording the first two solo sacks of his career in a Week 12 win against the Falcons in Atlanta.
In Weeks 9-13, White notched 46 tackles (three for loss), five QB hits, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery, which he returned 14 yards for a touchdown. His 46 tackles ranked sixth in the NFL during that span, and first among rookies. He also tied for first among rookies for forced fumbles, while being tied for third in tackles for loss and quarterback hits and tied for fourth in sacks among rookies during that time.
White becomes just the third Buccaneers defensive player to win the monthly rookie award in team history, joining Lavonte David (Nov. 2012) and Noah Spence (Nov. 2016).
On the season, White has recorded 69 tackles with 2.5 sacks, three pass breakups, one interception, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one defensive score in nine games. But even more important than that, White has emerged as a leader of the defense and an intricate part to their recent success.