Despite the Patriots' incredibly deep running back talent, it would seem that coach Bill Belichick has been unhappy with his options. The elusive pass-catching back, Shane Vereen, has had trouble staying healthy. Ridley, on the other hand, has had fumbling issues that have earned him a permanent position on Belichick's hot seat. These problems by both lead backs have likely paved the way for rookie James White, who has a skill set very similar to Ridley - minus the fumbling.
In fact, White is the poster child of ball security; in College, he allowed only two fumbles out of his 754 total touches. The rest of his stats are equally impressive as he ran for 4,015 yards in his four years with Wisconsin while averaging 6.2 YPC. Though College running talent rarely translates to success for rookie NFL running backs, Zuri Berry of Boston.com noted that White has already shown "exceptional skills and moves with the confidence of a Veteran." Berry also went as far as saying that White moved very similarly to Ridley and hit the line with the same speed.
As always, Patriots fans and fantasy football enthusiasts should temper expectations as rookies rarely live up to their hype. As of now, the starting job still belongs to both Ridley and Vereen. However, should the two starters experience the same issues that have plagued them in recent seasons, it isn't crazy to imagine White pushing his way onto the field.