Raiders RB Zamir White's incredible journey to possible NFL stardom

The Las Vegas Raiders will make a change at running back, and Zamir White's story goes well beyond the football field.
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Raiders take a chance on Zamir White

His scouting report by compared him to the unforgettable and violent running back Marion Barber, while identifying his strengths as being a “weight-room warrior with five-star physique” along with him being “hard to knock off-balance no matter how clean the shot”.

During the 2022 NFL Draft, the Raiders had their eyes on White, and would trade with the Vikings to move up a few spots in the 4th round to assure they got him.

Former Raiders wide receiver James Jones was excited, saying “Zamir White reminds you of the old Zeke”.

After being drafted, White described his playing style to as “fast, physical, smart”.

“He’s powerful, he runs behind his pads, he creates yards on contact…a lot of times when you have those physical backs, the rarity part is Zamir’s speed.” Raiders GM at the time, Davie Ziegler, told JT the Brick on the Raiders Podcast Network after drafting him.

During White’s rookie year, Jacobs was the NFL rushing champ. This allowed White to sit back and learn from the best. He continued to do that in his second season. Now with Jacobs gone, White’s opportunity is here.

After a lifetime of hospital visits in just a couple decades, along with a heavy workload as RB1 in high school and college, perhaps being the backup the past two years was exactly what White needed. A chance to freshen up his body, study from the best and prepare for the opportunity that’s now here.

After training camp last year, Dave Ziegler talked about all the extra time White puts in behind the scenes and where he’s grown.

"If I was going to pinpoint a specific area where we've seen a lot of growth in him, it is in the passing game as a route runner, in pass protection and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield,” said Ziegler, “And that's because he puts a lot of extra work in…you'll see Zamir after practice, he's on the JUGS Machine or KP is throwing him balls. He's put a lot of extra time in…”

As Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell recently said, “He’s a soft-spoken guy, but man, works his butt off. Does things the right way, the hard way. And it’ll be super exciting to see what he can do this year with a full offseason and definitely a head of steam and momentum.”

White doesn’t have a track record of being a leader because he’s particularly loud and outgoing. He’s a leader because he’s determined, and his work ethic is respected by teammates.

Remember that left ACL he tore as a freshman in college? That happened during a punt coverage drill in practice, not even a running play. The mental frustration is unfathomable. But after surgery, his focus was not only rehab, but also bulking up his upper body and spending time in the weight room.