Rookies on an NFL team will always remember their first time walking into the team facility to get their new equipment, and of course, their first professional number.
For Giants undrafted WR Reggie White Jr., that number comes with very high expectations.
White was seen wearing No. 13 at the Giants’ rookie minicamp — yes, Odell Beckham Jr.’s old number.
“I went to the equipment room to get measured for my helmet, I looked down at the sheet, saw ’13’ and was like, ‘that’s Odell’s number,'” White told NorthJersey.com’s Art Stapleton. “I knew I was going to get that, too, and I’m just happy to have a jersey. It didn’t matter what number they gave me, if they wanted me to wear double zero, I’d wear double zero. I’m just blessed to be here. All credit goes to Odell, he’s a hell of a player, I’m just happy to be with the Giants and have a jersey.”
It may just be a jersey to White, the former Monmouth star wideout, but it is weird for others to see the 6-foot-2 receiver wearing the number of one of the team’s best offensive playmakers for the past five seasons this soon.
But White isn’t looking too much into it. Instead, he’s trying to make his own legacy.
As for the second question you may be pondering about White, the answer is no. He isn’t the son of Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White. His father, though, did play four years in the NFL with the Patriots, Jets and Chargers after being a sixth-round choice back in 1995.
The Giants clearly liked what they saw from White, as they immediately signed him undrafted last Saturday following the NFL Draft. Head coach Pat Shurmur admitted the team thought his style of play would translate very well to the league.
“Just watching him play [on video], we felt like he had the skill and ability to be an NFL player,” Shurmur said. “He runs good routes. He catches the ball well. And he’s got pretty good instincts — he’s smart. I could see in just the couple of sessions that we’ve had here that he’ll be able to pick it up.”
It’s never easy for players that go undrafted to found a niche somewhere in the league. But Monmouth has had a couple players that have made a name for themselves like Miles Austin and Chris Hogan. Austin was the first that set the bar — the Giants were very familiar with him during his time with the Cowboys.
White’s head coach with the Hawks in Kevin Callahan believes his former receiver could be among that conversation as well.
“Everybody always draws parallels back to Miles — ‘he’s the next Miles Austin,'” Callahan said. “It happen with Hogan. It happened with Neal Sterling. It happen with Reggie, to be honest with you. I think Reggie is a combination of all of them.”
There is tons of depth at receiver on the Giants that White will have to power through if he wishes to break camp with the team. With Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate leading the pack, players like Corey Coleman, Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, and fifth-rounder Darius Slayton are all in the way. It will be tough for White to make the 53-man roster, but he’s ready to give it his all in the shot he has with the G-Men.
And having names like White, Austin and Beckham connected to him before training camp even kicks off, that may be some daunting pressure to make a name for himself. Or is it?
“I’m coming here to be Reggie White, not anybody else, and I want to do what I can to stay here and help this team win,” he said. “I can’t be anybody but myself, and I want to prove that I can play in the league.”