New England Patriots' rookie stands out in preseason debut

How big of a role will Keion White have this season?
Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Keion White (51) makes his way
Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Keion White (51) makes his way / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

In his first taste of NFL action, the New England Patriots second-round pick out of Georgia Tech, Keion White, flashed all over the television screen. With an up-and-down start to the Patriots 2023 NFL season last night the 24-year-old rookie was definitely a bright spot. White started for the Patriots as Bill Belichick and his staff chose to not play most of the starters in the team's first preseason game.

The rookie defensive end was making a noticeable impact throughout the time he was in the game. The stats alone do not tell the whole story as White finished with three tackles (two solo tackles) and a quarterback hit. Even on plays were stats were not recorded you could see White winning his head-to-head matchups along the line in multiple different alignments.

The highlight of the half for the former Georgia Tech defensive lineman was his bone-crushing hit on the running back who had just dropped the ball on a pitch play. While Houston Texans running back Dare Ogunbowale was trying to reach for the ball White came soaring into the backfield to lay the hit to make sure the ball stayed loose. Linebacker Calvin Munson of the Patriots went on to recover the ball to give the struggling Patriots offense great field position.

After the glowing performance from Patriots fans and media around the world, it was refreshing to hear the young man respond in a humble and respectable way. The rookie knew that this first preseason game was not the end all be all that maybe some Patriots fans were reacting like. With the return of football fans and media tend to get excited or overreact to a player's performance early on. When speaking to the media White said he wants to work on, "Just being able to play faster... I just need to play fast, put my head down, and go".

#99 along the defensive line will be someone to watch as the Patriots head to Green Bay to face the Packers in their second preseason game. To conclude the preseason the Patriots will face the Tennessee Titans on August 25th, before opening the regular season at home with last year's NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.