KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Center Yellowjacket Rachaad White is on NFL Draft boards, some as high as a 3rd round pick.
But his journey started with some tough love growing up, and another Big Brother, too.
“Growing up, my three older brothers, single-parent household, it was a blessing, to have someone around,” White said.
That someone was his Big from Big Brother Big Sisters in Kansas City, John Waller.
“Rachaad was sitting there on the couch with a big grin and he was a little shy, but I sat next to him and we hit it off,” Waller said.
“Kind of like another brother, another bond,” White said. “He just wanted to keep being in my life and help me out and help guide me to do right things,” White said.
Rachaad had to fight to make a name for himself: lightly recruited out of Center, he went to Nebraska-Kearney, then came a decision to transfer to junior college.
“It kind of helped me just understand the goal, the plan, just focus on all my energy on being the best.”
The trip to Mt. San Antonio College in California led to his third school, Arizona State. He rushed for over 1,000 yards this past season for the Sun Devils.
“If you believe in yourself, it can take you to extreme heights in life,” he said.
Despite moving to different cities, John and Rachaad kept a close bond to the point John became Rachaad’s business manager.
“I was the guy trying to recite him stats, like trying to keep him grounded, without crushing his dreams and to his credit, he just believed in himself,” Waller said. “Kansas City is a Midwestern town. There’s a good work ethic; there’s a humility that comes with that. There’s a desire to prove yourself and he embodies all those traits.”
Since college, Rachaad’s taken part in the Senior Bowl, continuing to learn.
“Just to see other guys, their mentality, just their character, how they are, to me, was a great experience,” he said.
And next month he’ll participate in the NFL Combine.
“Just get to show people, like, who you are, show the world. It’s a great experience to learn from. Meetings, things like that, you meet new connections,” he said.
With support from an old connection that’s held strong throughout.
“I’ve always talked to him about weighing the pros and cons, even when he first considered colleges and it’s no different now that he’s basically building a business,” Waller said.