How the 2013 ‘Snow Bowl’ game against the Lions inspired Kyzir White to join the Eagles

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – Kyzir White and his close friend walked through the gates of Lincoln Financial Field on December 8, 2013. The two walked around the stadium in South Philadelphia, enjoying the sights and sounds. White was no stranger to watching the Eagles, after going to Lehigh University to watch Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy participate in boot camp practices. However, that day would be different as it would be the first NFL game White would attend.

The thing most people didn’t think about was an impromptu blizzard that would dump nearly a foot of snow onto the terrain. Watching from his seat as the snow swirled in the fierce wind, White watched as the Eagles and Detroit Lions made their way onto the field that day. It was then that White knew what he wanted to do as a profession.

“It made me want to play for the Eagles,” White said. “Right after I left the game, I was like, ‘Man, one day I want to put on this Eagles uniform and dress up for them. Just to be here, it’s crazy how life comes full circle. I am blessed to be here.

White has finally made it to the NFL and will play in the stadium at least nine times next season. White held his official introductory press conference at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday, located between two Eagles helmets.

The Eagles signed White to a one-year contract worth up to $5 million. White, who grew up first in Plainfield, had 144 tackles, one sack, two interceptions and four hits for the Los Angeles Chargers.

As a free agent, White said he had several offers to move to other league teams, including a chance to reunite with the Chargers. However, White said he wanted to come to the Eagles due to several personal factors.

“Philly is great,” White said. “They have a big fan base. It’s a great team. It was a playoff team last year. I actually played against the Eagles so I know what they bring to the table. I’m an hour away, so I have my family here with me. They’re just the home team, and I’m just excited overall. I feel like it’s a good opportunity for me.”

At 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, White played it safe while in West Virginia. However, as NFL staff began to scout him, they considered him moving to linebacker, a move that worked for White. White said his time playing safety helped him become a versatile linebacker.

“I think that helped me be a safety before in athletics,” White said. “I feel like I could play the ball well. I feel like I’m playing good man coverage on tight ends, so the safety background makes it a bit easier for me, at my opinion, for a linebacker.

White’s coverage skills against linebackers are one of the reasons the Eagles were interested in his services. The Eagles struggled to stop opposing linebackers last year. The Eagles gave up the most receptions (107) and touchdowns (17) on tight ends last season. Having White back in coverage, especially with the Eagles facing dynamic tight ends like Detroit Lions’ TJ Hockenson and former Eagle Zach Ertz, now with the Arizona Cardinals next season.

As for beyond the 2022 season, White said he’s open to staying in Philadelphia.

“I would really like to be here for the rest of my career. This is where I want to be. I want to take a one-year contract and bet on myself and prove it again.

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Chris Franklin can be reached at cfranklin@njadvancemedia.com.

Charles P. Patton