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Mike White, the Jets’ unknown quarterback, defined

The 2021 season was presupposed to be a turning level for the New York Jets. They’d a brand new head coach, extremely touted for his self-discipline, and a brand new franchise quarterback chosen on the high of the NFL Draft. 9 weeks into the season, and it’s not Zach Wilson persons are speaking about, however Mike White.

Who’s Mike White? Good query. The 26-year-old QB is already in Canton for setting the single-game completions report, and solely the second participant in historical past (alongside Cam Newton) to throw for over 400 yards in his first begin. His story is capturing the imaginations of followers in New York and past. Now the massive query is that if he can maintain it going.

So who’s Mike White? The place did this man come from? And what might he imply to the way forward for the Jets?

Mike White was at all times a late bloomer

White at all times performed quarterback, however didn’t get an opportunity to begin in highschool till he was a senior. When his identify was lastly referred to as, he excelled — throwing for two,200 yards, 22 touchdowns and simply two interceptions. It was sufficient to get seen by South Florida, who recruited him even supposing he wasn’t a extremely touted prospect.

The begin to his South Florida profession wasn’t nice for White. He discovered himself struggling within the system, and finally determined to switch after Willie Taggart was named head coach and introduced the staff could be shifting from a pro-style offense to the unfold.

White was granted his switch, and sat out a yr — finally touchdown at Western Kentucky, hardly a prestigious breeding floor for NFL quarterbacks. As soon as he acquired on the sector for the Hilltoppers, White excelled by throwing for over 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, and performing nicely on the Senior Bowl.

The hype round White was actual, however he fell within the 2018 NFL Draft after some very common performances on the mix. Finally he was chosen within the fifth spherical of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, who meant him to backup Dak Prescott.

Leaving Dallas

White was within the mistaken place on the mistaken time. After one season in Dallas it was clear the Cowboys weren’t inquisitive about retaining White on the roster, electing to go low-cost and signed an undrafted rookie to backup Prescott, reasonably than maintain White on the roster.

In 2019 he was launched, and the QB was quickly contacted by the Jets. Drifting across the staff’s apply squad, it was unclear whether or not the staff would maintain White round, particularly after making the swap at head coach to Robert Saleh. Nevertheless, displaying religion in his talents, the Jets re-signed White in January of 2021, making him the staff’s backup quarterback to their eventual starter they’d be taking within the draft.

Shining when it mattered

Jets followers had been witness to a number of the worst QB play this season as No. 2 total decide Zach Wilson struggled to develop over his first seven begins. A part of this was only a rookie taking his lumps, however alarmingly there was proof that he wasn’t actually enhancing, persevering with to make the identical errors time and again.

That mentioned, there was additionally a agency perception that numerous the difficulty was a lackluster Jets offense, that theoretically no one might thrive in. That was put to the take a look at when Wilson was injured in opposition to the Patriots in Week 7, forcing White to take over.

Whereas that reduction position look wasn’t unimaginable, folks seen that the offense was working extra easily with White beneath heart, than it was with Wilson.

In his first profession begin Mike White was sensational. Getting into Week 8 in opposition to a Bengals staff that was rolling, not solely did the staff have White begin, however they actually made him play. This wasn’t a case of asking him to easily maintain down the place. As a substitute the Jets put the sport in his palms. White rewarded the staff with the perfect passing efficiency they’d seen not solely in 2021, however possible of the final two years.

White completed 37-of-45 for 405 yards with three touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 107.9 passer score.

It was the second time in NFL historical past {that a} participant threw for 400 yards or extra of their first begin, and White’s 37 completions set a brand new NFL report in a primary profession begin. Watch the full highlights of White’s performance here.

His record-breaking efficiency acquired his jersey in Canton:

Now White is poised to make his second begin on Thursday Evening Soccer in opposition to the Colts, giving him one other probability to shine.

What does this imply for the long run?

It’s necessary to not get too carried away with White’s early performances. I’m not making an attempt to be a moist blanket, however till opposing defenses get an opportunity to scheme for him it’s largely silly to make daring proclamations.

Nevertheless, this complete situation does elevate numerous questions in regards to the future. If White retains thriving it’s unclear what the Jets will do, and there’s such a groundswell of help behind the 26-year-old underdog is quick changing into a fan favourite, and will trigger an actual QB controversy for the Jets.

Both approach, it’s going to be enjoyable to look at this unfold.

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