Key Players for 2012: Ian White
This is a series on the key players for the 2012 season. Big things are expected for some, while others will need to improve over their previous performances. If 2012 is a good year, it will be in part due to the key players overachieving.
Junior Center, Ian White
What he's been: The redshirt JR has played a lot and almost all of it at guard. What's been frustrating is that White would be very, very good in some games and then off in others. Because he is playing primarily inside, the issues usually involve getting overpowered by bigger DTs. Like most of the olinemen the past few years, White's flashed moments of greatness but lacked consistency.
What he needs to be: In my opinion the offensive line play really started falling apart after Matt Tennant left. I think Centers are underappreciated...at times even by their own coaches. It seems like the Spaz/Devine MO was to put the best five on the field regardless of positional fit and not to worry about rejiggering the lineup. The way the staff yo-yo'd Mark Spinney and others at Center the past two years hurt our consistency. And it impacts the QB position too. White's new to the role, so this could lead to more chaos. I hope not. We need him to be good from Day 1. He needs to set the tone for the OL and communicate with Rettig. Other players are important, but White -- or whoever starts at Center -- will be the keystone to the offense.
Why I like his chances to shine: Like Cleary, I think White is one of those guys who would have thrived under old BC regimes. He's been smart and tough from the minute he was eligible to play. He might not be as powerful as needed, but now as a redshirt JR, he should be fully matured. Plus playing Center doesn't require as much power and is more reliant on smarts and quickness.
I don't know if White will be our starting Center for Miami or even later into the season. Under Devine positions and the depth chart were constantly being tweaked. I pray things are different with Bollman. Let White learned to be a Center. He has a chance to be a great one.