Just a few months ago, the New England Patriots lost running back LeGarrette Blount to the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency. Blount supplanted Patriots’ starter Stevan Ridley as the 2013 season went on and had a record-setting night in the Patriots’ 43-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional round of the AFC playoffs last season. Blount rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries.
Although the Patriots still have Ridley, speedster Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden, they knew they could use another back to help replace Blount’s production and used the 130th-overall pick in the fourth round of this year’s NFL Draft to take former Wisconsin Badgers’ running back James White. So far, White has drawn rave reviews.
He has even impressed the Patriots’ leader, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady.
“I knew when we drafted him everyone really liked him, so, that’s why he’s here, cause I think everyone thinks he can contribute to the team, and he can make a big impact on the team. He’s done that,” Brady said via Doug Kyed of NESN.com. “He’s definitely been someone that’s come out every day, and he makes really impressive plays for a young player.”
Brady has been especially pleased with White’s hard work and maturity.
“He’s done a great job since he got here,” Brady said Thursday after practice. “He’s got a real maturity for someone that’s just getting out of college. He’s made a lot of really great plays out here.”
White rushed for 1,444 yards and 13 touchdowns on 221 carries for the Badgers last season.