One thing we’ve learned about Bucs rookie running back Rachaad White is that he loves the game more than most. Everyone wants to be a pro, but White, the team’s third-round pick, is a student of the game first.

After an impressive interview with the Bucs at the NFL Scouting Combine, White earned a Top 30 visit in April prior to the draft. On that visit, general manager Jason Licht noted White carried a football around wherever he went in the building.

“He walked around our building here – when we had him on a [draft prospect] visit – holding a football,” Licht said after drafting White. “I said, ‘Why do you hold that football?’ He said, ‘It’s just my comfort level. I just like to have a football with me.'”

Bucs RB Rachaad White

Bucs RB Rachaad White – Photo by: USA Today

After arriving in Tampa to sign his contract and participate in the rookie mini-camp, White has added a new element to his repertoire of keeping things that mean a lot to him. White was so excited about being a Buccaneer that after getting fitted for the team equipment he wanted to bring his helmet back to the hotel and wear it for the rest of the evening.

“I was trying to soak it all in,” White said. “I was trying to take my helmet to the hotel last night, but they wouldn’t allow me to, I just miss football so much, being out here with guys, teammates and being out there with coaches, getting coached up. Just getting better at the game of football, it just made it so real. I came in and was in the equipment room going through the physicals and stuff like that yesterday.”

Apparently the Arizona State star had a plan for the night with helmet. Since he hadn’t worn one since February, he wanted that in-game feeling again. He was even willing to wear it to sleep in.

“I was just going to wear my helmet, I was going to watch the Mavs game last night,” White said. “I watched the other game, the 76ers with a helmet on and a visor on, I just wanted to wear it. If I had fell asleep, yeah. I ain’t going to lie, I didn’t do that in college, but it’s been a drought.

“I had the luxury to go to the Reese’s (Senior) Bowl, so that was the last time I put on a helmet and that was February. It’s just been a long time I feel like. I miss wearing a helmet and things like that, so yesterday just having it and things like that, I was trying to take it with me, but they didn’t let me.”

Does this kid love football or what?

In his first mini-camp practice, White was one of the most attentive participants on the field. Even when he wasn’t in on a rep, White was pointing things out, discussing it with teammates, and attached to the hip of running backs coach Todd McNair.

“You’re asked to do sort of different things,” White said. “I was able to kind of pick up on Install 1 and things like that to a good familiarity. I was just out there, had a couple other running back guys with me. We were just helping each other out, making sure, things like that. Being a leader, making guys better.”

White created some buzz last week when he said he was coming in to be the starter. Of course the Bucs already have a starter in Leonard Fournette, who just signed a three-year, $21 million contract.

White clarified his previous statement, saying that it’s more about his approach to coming in with the right mentality.

“Everybody should want to play right away,” White said. “That should be the mentality because that’s how everybody gets better in your room and how a team gets better. I plan on competing every day, bringing my best foot forward and the best version of me. Life for me is all about football. I have no school and things like that. I have no problem with picking up the playbook and things like that. That’s my job.”

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
14 days ago

Already loving this pick. Just a football player who loves the game. Brady will be pleased.

Theerealdiehl
Theerealdiehl
Reply to  PissedOffBuc1988
13 days ago

Still pissed off?

Spitfire
Spitfire
14 days ago

This is my favorite story, this is better than Dotson coming to Camp in Basketball shoes. This is everything you could ask for, a guy that wants more than anything to play. I Love his attitude and he’s right, everyone should want to be the starter, even if there’s a starter in front of you, that was Brady’s mentality as a Rookie. You never hand over the keys just because they say he’s the driver, you gotta make him earn it because otherwise you will. White is already one of my favorite Rookies.

red816
red816
14 days ago

Love this attitude and mindset coming in as a rookie!

76bucsfan46
76bucsfan46
14 days ago

Keep it up kid. Tare it up at practice and all your dreams will come true.

drdneast
drdneast
14 days ago

Nothing wrong with Whte saying he is going to be the starter it means he is confident of his abilties and plans or working hard to get there. There needs to be 55 guys out there who want and think they should be the starter. Being a wilting flower in the NFL is not a good attribute.

bEubanks11
bEubanks11
13 days ago

This kid is my kind of crazy! I love and completely understand where he’s at with his connection with HIS equipment. You go to war with that helmet. It’s going to be a part of your journey as well. Keep this ritual kid. Don’t let this part of you fade and keep grinding. Welcome to Tampa, Rachaad!

Theerealdiehl
Theerealdiehl
13 days ago

I remember doing the same thing when I was a kid in little league football. Every pro should have this kind of attitude. Ya love to see it