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With a medical school future, UND linebacker Caden White has no problem diagnosing an offense

White, a 6-foot-3 senior inside linebacker, will be asked to take on a bigger role this coming season with the departure of veteran Noah Larson.

CadenWhite.jpg
UND senior inside linebacker Caden White celebrates a play against North Dakota State during the 2021 season.
UND Athletics

GRAND FORKS — During spring ball, one UND football player quickly changes out of his uniform before the end of practice and heads out of the Fritz Pollard Jr. Athletic Center.

UND senior inside linebacker Caden White has to get to physics class.

That's not a problem for the UND coaching staff. When it comes to understanding the X's and O's of football, White's smarts are never in question.

White, a native of Sun Prairie, Wis., is a biology major with an emphasis in pre-health. He has minors in psychology and chemistry, while Medical School, with an orthopedics specialty, is in his future.

It's no surprise then, a potential first-time starter at inside linebacker in 2022, White's strength on the football field is his brain.

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"He can diagnose what the offense is doing, which is probably what you want in a doctor, right?" UND inside linebackers coach Carl Reinholz said.

That's almost exactly as White, who's 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, described his best asset.

"Diagnosing plays," White said. "I'm usually in the right spot. I think fast. When guys are in motion or communication is needed, I'm usually the first to say it. I feel like I can diagnose the fastest."

That'll be important for UND, which will look to reload at inside linebacker following the departure of four-year starter Noah Larson.

With Larson gone and fellow inside linebacker Devon Krzanowski sitting out spring practices as he recovers from an injury, White is the most experienced at his position, which includes a number of promising young players.

White had 13 tackles, one sack and two quarterback hurries in 2021. He was also a key figure on special teams.

"Certainly special teams has been a big part of my role up to this point, and I've taken that seriously," White said. "I've got more and more playing time on the defensive side and hopefully this fall can take another big step forward.

"A lot of guys look to me because I've been here the longest. They're looking to me for advice and help, especially the freshmen. That's definitely something I'm not used to just because Noah had been her for what seemed like forever and before that it was Donnell (Rodgers) and Ty (Vrede), so I've stepped into that older veteran leadership."

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UND loses six of the team's top seven tacklers from the 2021 season, and White will be one of the key pieces to step in and contribute to fill that void.

White was an under-the-radar prospect out of Sun Prairie, where he played safety on the same defense with current UND safety Kadon Kauppinen.

UND was White's only college football scholarship offer.

But White has paid his dues with a program hoping to bounce back from a string of close losses this fall and rediscover the formula that led to the FCS quarterfinals the previous spring.

"The spring was really successful for us," White said. "The fall, we were there. We want to get over the hump. Just finishing those close games is where we can take a step forward. All of our losses were one-score losses. What we've been preaching all spring is finishing everything we do — every line, every drill and every rep in the weight room. You just have to finish it."

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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