BOCA RATON – Kerrith Whyte will take the field on Saturday against Ball St. with a single-minded focus.
“Touchdowns. Touchdowns. Touchdowns,” Whyte said, smiling. “I’m going to get that against Ball St.”
Whyte is emerging as a bright spot for FAU. A redshirt freshman, Whyte has shown improvement in each of his first three games.
Last week at Kansas State, he was FAU’s leading rusher with 54 yards on nine carries. That came after totaling only 23 rushing yards in his first two games. Whyte attributes the improvement to having the patience to let holes develop.
“I’m starting to know the offense in and out, starting to know where to go,” Whyte said.
Three games into the season Whyte is the Owls’ second-leading rusher with 77 yards on 25 carries. He’s yet to score that first collegiate touchdown, but has a vision of how he wants to see it happen against Ball St.
“A long run, explosive – like, whoa, that-guy’s-fast type of run,” Whyte said.
That type of play could easily come on a kick return.
Whyte tallied 87 yards on four kickoff returns against Kansas St. The week before, against Miami, he averaged over 29.8 yards per return and nearly broke a couple for touchdowns, including his season-long of 38 yards.
Though young, Whyte is well aware that FAU has yet to have a kickoff return for a touchdown in program history – with Anthony Jackson’s 85-yard burst against Marist in the Owls’ first year being the longest.
Whyte ranks 23rd nationally, averaging 26.1 yards per return.
He’s having success despite having never returned kicks before at any level.
“It’s a new experience but I actually like it – being able to run full speed downhill fast and have the other 10 guys blocking for you, it’s pretty good,” Whyte said. “It’s a little bit faster than a normal offense running. You’re just going straight, but I like it.”
Returns yards might not come so easily against Ball St.
The Cardinals are only allowing opponents 20.1 yards per return and have not permitted a touchdown return.
But that’s not getting the end zone off Whyte’s mind.
“I am trying to be the first (FAU player) to get a kick return for a touchdown,” Whyte said.