TAMPA — The Bucs have a tough time taking Leonard Fournette off the field due to the trust he has built with Tom Brady running and catching the ball as a three-down player.
But at least they’ll have more options in the backfield this year.
One of the most intriguing is running back Rachaad White, their third-round pick in the draft.
White, out of Arizona State, agreed to a four-year contract Thursday but still must pass a physical. Terms of the deal were not released.
The Bucs also reached agreements with three other draft picks on the eve of rookie minicamp: Sam Houston State cornerback Zyon McCollum (fifth round, No. 157 overall), Minnesota tight end Ko Kieft (sixth round, No. 218 overall) and LSU outside linebacker Andre Anthony (seventh round, No. 258 overall).
White, 23, is an intriguing prospect to go with running backs Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Giovanni Bernard. With Ronald Jones signing as a free agent with the Chiefs, the Bucs have ro…om for another pass-catching back immediately.
“I think he’ll fit (well),” said running backs coach Todd McNair. “I think that was a really good scheme fit. If you think back, we’ve always talked about (running back) David Johnson and how his role was in Arizona in the offense (from 2015-19). And (Fournette) kind of fit that bill because he could split out and (perform) wide receiver stuff.
“(White’s) versatility is a plus. This kid is a lot like (Fournette) in that aspect. He can split out, catch it and do all the stuff that we ask him to do. (He is) just a great fit for us in the offensive scheme and things.”
At 6 feet 1, White has a build and running style that reminded Arizona State coach Herm Edwards of Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen. His size could be an advantage in the passing game.
“From a receiving standpoint, you’re a bigger target,” McNair said of White. “You’re a rangier guy, you’ve got more length and stuff like that. That’s where it matters.
Contact Rick Stroud at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @NFLSTROUD.
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