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West Virginia's Kevin White drawing NFL comparisons

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Chris Jackson/Associated Press
West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White is an ascending talent on the radar of NFL scouts.

The senior who might be the nation's best wide receiver is going against the Big 12's worst pass defense this Saturday. That could lead to a big day for West Virginia's Kevin White, who has been compared to both Steve Smith and Larry Fitzgerald.

White (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) leads the nation in receptions (69) and receiving yards (1,020) and has seven TD catches. He and WVU play at Oklahoma State on Saturday, and the Cowboys are surrendering 288.4 passing yards per game.

In a later tweet, in an answer to a specific question, Jeremiah said the first comparison "that came to my mind was a super-sized Steve Smith." Jeremiah also tweeted that he was "really impressed by how efficient (White) is at the top of routes" and that White did a "nice job stacking CBs on verts (vertical routes) too."

In September, NFL Media analysts wrote that they were "hearing a lot of Larry Fitzgerald comparisons" for White. NFL Media analyst Charles Davis wrote this week that "White is built similarly to Fitzgerald and has great hands to go along with a wide catch radius."

White finished with 35 receptions last season, his first at WVU after transferring in from a junior college. He had more than five catches in a game just twice last season; this season, White has had at least six receptions in every game and four times has caught at least 10 passes in a game.

White was not heavily recruited out of Plainfield (N.J.) High for academic reasons and ended up at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa. He played well as a junior college sophomore in 2012 and ended up choosing West Virginia over Texas Tech. (The assistant in charge of his recruitment was then-quarterback coach Jake Spavital -- who now is the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M.)

His athleticism showed last fall at WVU, but he was not consistent. "Last year, I really didn't know much and I had to think a lot," he said in a story posted on WVU's website in July. He also noted in that story he had developed a good rapport with Mountaineers quarterback Clint Trickett during the spring and summer.

That rapport has paid off, to the tune of seven consecutive 100-yard outings, including a 13-catch, 216-yard effort in a win over Maryland and a 13-catch, 123-yard day in a win over Texas Tech that likely led Red Raiders coaches to wonder "what might have been" had White signed with them.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been impressed with what he has seen of White on tape.

"Going to play the game for a long time, in my opinion," Gundy said during his weekly news conference.

Oklahoma State seems likely to use potential All-Big 12 cornerback Kevin Peterson on White. But White is four inches taller and 25 pounds heavier than Peterson, so another big day seems to be in order.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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