Stanford’s aerial attack hasn’t gotten much attention this year — hard to justify when the Cardinal sport Bryce Love in the backfield. But if any wideout deserves a keen eye by an opposing secondary, it’s South Carolina native J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Here’s 5 things to know about the junior wide receiver:
1. He leads Stanford in all receiving categories
Arcega-Whiteside is the unquestioned top receiver on the Cardinal roster this year. In 2017, he’s hauled in a team-high 41 receptions for 633 yards and six touchdowns. Nobody else on Stanford’s sidelines has more than three touchdown grabs.
He’s hit the century mark in receiving yards twice this year — against Oregon and Washington.
2. Out of high school, he was just a 3-star recruit
Arcega-Whiteside attended Dorman High School in Roebuck, South Carolina. According to 247sports, he was just a 3-star recruit and not even a top-50 wide receiver in his class.
With that said, he did sport offers from the likes of Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Harvard. Stanford was the only school out west to offer Arcega-Whiteside.
3. He caught the game-winning touchdown against UCLA last year
With 24 seconds left against the Bruins, Arcega-Whiteside caught the game-winning touchdown in a 22-13 win over UCLA last year.
4. He’s well-traveled
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Arcega-Whiteside was born in Spain and had been to eight countries in Europe by the time he was just two-years-old.
Arcega-Whiteside also comes from a celebrated background athletically.
Both his parents were professional basketball players in Europe. His mother, Valerie Whiteside, was an All-American at Appalachian State, where she set 26 school records and had her jersey number retired. His father, Joaquin Arcega, played many years in Europe. Two of Joaquin’s brothers played for Spain in the 1984 Olympics.
5. His best sport might actually have been basketball
Perhaps the reason Arcega-Whiteside possesses naturally-good hands is the fact that the hardwood might be his true home.
While he was a viable recruit in football out of high school, he was a McDonald’s All-American nominee for basketball. Just check out this dunk he had in high school:
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