Devin White is starting to show why he was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Tampa Bay’s rookie linebacker was named the NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for the month of November (Weeks 9-13) after racking up 46 tackles (three for loss), five quarterback hits, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery, which he returned 14 yards for a touchdown.
The Bucs released a statement on it Wednesday morning:
The National Football League today announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers inside linebacker Devin White has been named NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for the month of November.
In Weeks 9-13, White totaled 46 tackles (three for loss), five quarterback hits, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery, which he returned 14 yards for a touchdown. His 46 tackles ranked sixth in the NFL during that span and first among rookies. He also tied for first among rookies for forced fumbles, while being tied for third in tackles for loss and quarterback hits and tied for fourth in sacks among rookies during that time.
White becomes just the third Buccaneers defensive player to win the monthly rookie award in team history, joining Lavonte David (Nov. 2012) and Noah Spence (Nov. 2016).
Against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9, White collected a team-high 12 tackles, his first career half-sack and a pair of forced fumbles. The Louisiana State product topped that total with a career-best 13 tackles in Week 11 vs. New Orleans – the fifth-most tackles recorded in a game by a Buccaneers rookie since 2010. The following week at Atlanta, White became the first Buccaneers rookie since 2010 to record multiple sacks in a single game to go along with his eight tackles in Week 12.
White finished the month by registering his first career interception at Jacksonville in Week 13, adding seven tackles and two passes defensed in a performance highlighted by a fumble recovery returned for his first career touchdown. He joined Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush and Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick as the only players this season to record an interception and a fumble returned for a touchdown in the same game.
White is Tampa Bay’s second NFC monthly award winner in 2019, after outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September.
It’s easy to see that White looks more and more comfortable each week, which has allowed him to fly around the field and make plays. The peak of his ascension came last week against the Jaguars, when he baited Nick Foles into an interception.
And there’s history behind the award, as well. Scott Smith of buccaneers.com tweeted out this cool little tidbit on Thursday morning:
Cool parallel: Lavonte David won the same award in the same month of his rookie season 7 years ago. https://t.co/wM6UpV8K8R— Scott Smith (@ScottSBucs) December 5, 2019
White’s improvement has also been key to a Tampa Bay defense that has improved as a whole over the last two weeks.
Here’s to plenty more coming in 2019.