- 58 tackles
- 7.0 tackles for loss
- 2 passes defended
- 1 interception
As the saying goes, it’s not how you start but how you finish. Jarell White certainly lived by that adage in his sophomore season, as the former four-star recruit made his greatest impact during the latter portions of the 2018 campaign. As we near the conclusion of our season in review series, let’s take a look at how White did last fall and what that could mean for 2019.
White played in all 13 games for the Military Bowl-winning Cincinnati Bearcats, but he only made six starts. Following a fairly impressive freshman season, it was a bit strange that he wasn’t immediately given a starting role, but a new scheme may have dictated that plus there can really be no arguing with the results. The Bearcats were a top 40 team by defensive S&P+ and led the American Athletic Conference in total defense.
Just because White wasn’t starting all season doesn’t mean he wasn’t an integral part of the team, especially as he started in each of the final five games of the year. In those five contests he produced a pair of double-digit tackle games while accruing 29 of his 58 total tackles for the year. Those 58 stops ranked second on the team and the fact that he also improved his tackle for loss total by 5.5 shows that he advanced as a playmaker behind the line of scrimmage as well. Standing in stark contrast to that is the fact that the did not record a single sack, but he did have two quarterback hits, so it may just be a matter of time before he is a more significant contributor to the pass rush.
White’s skills went beyond pure tackling as well. He showed promise in his ability to drop back into coverage, tacking on two passes defended, a pass breakup and an interception to his stat line.
The Best of the Best
Sept. 22 vs. Ohio University
White had nine total tackles in this one, but none was more important than the three-yard loss he forced at the goal line on Ohio’s final offensive possession. Thanks to that stop, the Bobcats elected to throw the ball only to have it intercepted by James Wiggins, ultimately sealing the come-from-behind victory.
Nov. 10 vs. USF
White tallied 10 tackles for the third time in his career and first time in 2018 against the Bulls, including one stop for loss.
Nov. 17 at UCF
White tied a career-high with 11 tackles, including six solo efforts and a stop for loss. The final result wasn’t as pleasant for the Bearcats, but White really excelled against one of the best teams in the country.
For Next Year
The 2019 season will be here before you know it and that could mean big things for White. He has proven that he can play at the collegiate level and be a difference maker all over the field on defense. Assuming he is given even more playing opportunities next fall, this could be the year he really reaches the potential set by his four-star ranking as a recruit. To get there he’ll need to keep improving as a tackler and start making more plays in the pass rush. Those are both easily attainable goals for someone with his talent.