Eagles Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Could Be Finest Crimson Zone Menace within the NFL


JJ Arcega-Whiteside


SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 30: Huge receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside #19 of the Stanford Cardinal catches a landing cross in opposition to defensive again Budda Baker #32 of the Washington Huskies within the third quarter on September 30, 2016 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies defeated the Cardinal 44-6. (Picture by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Photos)

First daring assertion of this younger season: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is likely to be the perfect jump-ball receiver within the NFL. The chemistry he’s already growing with Carson Wentz within the pink zone has regarded otherworldly. The 6-foot-Three large receiver has elite palms and unbelievable physique management.

It’s nonetheless unclear what number of snaps Arcega-Whiteside will see because the fourth receiver on this loaded Eagles offense, however he ought to see a great share of red-zone targets. If not, the group is losing his immense expertise and unmatched dimension.

All of it goes again to the Stanford product’s upbringing as each his mother and father, Joaquin and Valerie, had been skilled basketball gamers in Europe. Valerie set 26 college data and had her jersey quantity retired. Diving deeper, two of his father’s brothers performed hoops for Spain’s Olympic group.

J.J. was born and raised in Spain since Joaquin and Valerie had been enjoying within the European league. He had visited 5 nations by the point he was 10 months outdated whereas studying two totally different languages: Spanish and English. As a toddler, he attended Valerie’s video games and even (kind of) helped coach the group, in accordance with SF Gate.

When Valerie received elbowed within the paint throughout a recreation in Santerem, Portugal, he ran 20 ft onto the court docket to complain concerning the tough remedy she was getting, forcing a stoppage in play. One other time, he picked up a white board and scribbled a play for the group to run. He stated, “Ball goes right here, then right here, then to momma.”

Arcega-Whiteside adopted in his household’s well-known footsteps by enjoying basketball at Dorman Excessive College in South Carolina the place he was a McDonald’s All-American nominee and group MVP as a senior. He was a “beast” in soccer, too, and excelled at observe. However when he caught a 65-yard landing cross in a varsity playoff recreation, his affection turned to soccer. As a senior, he caught a school-record 108 passes for 1,824 yards and 20 touchdowns. His coach was amazed at how effortlessly he would combat by means of double and triple groups.

“He owns all of the receiving data on the college,” Dorman head coach David Gutshall stated. “If he hadn’t damaged his collarbone his sophomore yr, the data could be laborious for anyone to match.”

He’s been extremely spectacular throughout his quick time with the Eagles, primarily in OTAs and minicamp. His 30-yard landing catch from Wentz on a flea-flicker final week had the entire group in awe. How a lot of an element can the rookie be this yr? Properly, Professional Soccer Focus certain appears to suppose he’ll make an instantaneous affect.

Arcega-Whiteside has all of the pure expertise on the earth. Now he’s studying learn how to survive and thrive in an NFL locker room and doing all of the little issues that make a distinction. For the latter, he has been choosing DeSean Jackson’s veteran mind.

“I ask him stuff on a regular basis on the sphere, within the classroom and he simply helps,” Arcega-Whiteside instructed PhiladelphiaEagles.com. “He does every part he can to just be sure you perceive what you’re asking for and he goes on the market and makes performs like catching these posts after which it’s like what he’s saying is the reality. It’s been superior.”