FOXBORO -- The Patriots have invested in another Nick Saban connection as they have signed former Crimson Tide receiver DeAndrew White to their practice squad.
White is a 24-year-old wideout who is now in his second season as a pro. The 6-foot, 192-pounder was signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent last year, playing in four games, and making two catches for 18 yards. He also returned six kicks for 142 yards and one punt for four yards.
White was released by the 49ers on Sep. 3 and spent Week 1 of this season as a free agent. In New England, White will be reunited with former Alabama teammates Cyrus Jones and Dont'a Hightower. In four years under Saban, Alabama's head coach and Bill Belichick's former colleague, White caught 94 passes for 1,294 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Saban served as Belichick's defensive coordinator from 1991-94 when Belichick served as Browns head coach. Belichick recently mentioned Saban as one of the most talented assistants he's ever coached with in answering a question about current Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
"I mean of course I think the world of Dante," Belichick said. "I think he is as fine of a coach as anybody that I’ve coached with, and I’ve had the opportunity to coach with a lot of them, certainly. Him and Coach Saban are up there pretty high, along with a lot of other great coaches, and Scott O’Brien in the kicking game."