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Almost Heaven: WVU Feels “Right” for 2023 Running Back Jahiem White

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There aren’t many times when Jahiem White is in awe on the football field, but as he watched West Virginia senior Leddie Brown carry WVU to a victory over Texas Saturday, he couldn’t help but want to know just what makes Brown so good.

As one of the top WVU recruits at Milan Puskar Stadium Saturday, attending the game with William Penn High School teammates Sam Stoner and Carmelo McKenzie, White made it into the WVU locker room after the emotional win and found Brown. The pair posed for a photo, and White had to ask. “What makes you so good?”

Brown credited WVU running backs coach Chad Scott in his success, and it just so happens that Scott has been the leading force in bringing White to WVU.

White, a 2023 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back from William Penn in York, Pennsylvania, made the visit to WVU after picking up an offer from the Mountaineers earlier this month, and aside from watching the win, getting to meet with Brown and talking with Scott highlighted his weekend with the team.

After all, the visit back to Morgantown has been a process months in the making — dating back to a camp experience over the summer.

“I first came into contact with them at camp in June,” White told WV Sports Now. “Because I’m a junior, I could directly communicate with them until Sept. 1. Since then, I text or talk to coach Scott several times a week. When I left camp in June, I was so excited about the idea that I could earn an offer to WVU. There is just something different about the staff here.”

While it took some time for WVU to officially offer White, with him just waiting and hoping for that call the whole time, he picked up the offer from Scott earlier this month — adding WVU to an offer sheet that already includes Bowling Green and Old Dominion.

White’s excitement upon finding picking up the WVU offer was obvious, but it goes deeper than just wanting an offer. He said ever since coming into contact with Scott, WVU has felt “right.” And that feeling was only furthered with his visit to Morgantown over the weekend.

In visiting WVU for the Texas game with an offer in hand, he felt amazing, but he’s hopeful to make it back to Morgantown again soon for a more in-depth visit. White got to experience WVU and meet with Scott and Brown, but he wants to build that relationship even further.

Despite just being a junior at William Penn, with his whole senior season before him, White’s recruiting process — while not picking up handfuls of offers yet — has been picking up of late. With three Division I offers and interest from Penn State and Virginia Tech, White has enjoyed the ride.

He’s especially enjoyed the warm welcome from fans and coaches and getting to visit the different facilities of each program, but at the end of the day, it’s about fulfilling his life-long dream — and just playing football. “I grew up dreaming about playing Division I football,” White said, “so it’s a little surreal.”

With a visit to Old Dominion this weekend, and visits to Maryland, Temple, Penn State and Towson this season, White has been busy. But he’s been his busiest on the football field this fall.

In helping lead William Penn to a 7-3 season, with losses to only powerhouse Governor Mifflin and Central York during the regular season, White has produced at an unreal level. In just 10 games, he rushed for 2,128 yards and 31 touchdowns (over 13 yards per carry). His efforts earned him first-team All-County running back honors.

While White is a bit smaller than Brown’s 6-foot-0, 215-pound frame, he sees the similarities between his game and Brown’s.

“[Brown] hits the hole hard and has great break-out speed when he hits the outside,” White said. “He likes to have the ball in clutch situations, and so do I. He can also catch in the backfield, and I love plays like that.”

With great quickness in a strong, well-built frame, White is an explosive athlete who — clearly — is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. He’s competed against Division I athletes in the YAIAA and excelled, but he hasn’t received national attention yet.

However, after his WVU visit, which when compounded with his previous relationship, White is feeling pretty good about WVU. Which may just be a benefit to WVU in the long run.

“Coach Scott has taken a lot of time to get to know me,” White said. “I like his style. He is genuine and straightforward. Plus, when a player tells you that his coach has helped develop his game, that is huge. I look up to Leddie, as a player. That meant a lot.”

As a junior, White’s recruiting process still has quite a ways to go, but his relationship with WVU has clearly worked its way into his mind for the future.
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