Player Capsule: Tim White
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 185 pounds
2015 season quick review: White's 972 yards on kickoff returns set an ASU single-season record and his 27.0 average was second in the Pac-12. He finished No. 19 nationally in all-purpose yards with 132.9. He was third on the ASU roster with 57 catches and tied for first with eight touchdown receptions.
Wide Receivers Coach Jay Norvell: "Obviously he's a great athlete with being able to do track and football and both at such a high level. That's really hard to do. He's a guy you want to get the ball to and let him make a play. He can make you miss, he's explosive. He's really good on special teams. I like how he approaches what he's doing and his attitude. There's just a lot to like."
SunDevilSource.com analysis: ASU stumbled upon White at College of the Canyons with an assist from Sun Devil track coach Greg Kraft, who was certainly aware that White was the state's top junior college triple jumper and overall athletes. It proved true on the football field as well, as White was immediately one of ASU's best weapons with the football in his hand.
White arrived in the summer and suffered a broken hand during preseason camp and yet still was one of the team's most productive overall players. It suggests there's potentially some great things in store for White's senior season, even as he spent much off the last six months training for track, where White finished fourth in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the triple jump with a personal best of 54 feet, 4 1/2 inches.
Short-area explosiveness is an areas in which White is an elite athlete. He's a major weapon on wide screens, quick slants and other plays that get him the ball in space where he is able to use his excellent suddenness to make the first would-be tackler miss. White doesn't need his blocks to be sustained as long as others, and is better able to score in the screen and quick game inside the red zone than most receivers.
The Sun Devils are likely to move White from the perimeter to the slot under new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and he should be a high volume target. White is very difficult to manage in space because of how well he leverages his quickness from a standstill, and can be used in a variety of applications. He's not especially big but has good strength at his size and has shown the capacity to block, even though he's the one who is usually going to be blocked for. Vision is another major asset of White, as he seems the field well and this is evidenced especially as a kickoff returner, where he sees the field at depth, and can rapidly gear up to exploit a crease.
Where White has the biggest room for growth is as a nuanced route runner working down the field. He is a little tightly wound -- as is often the case with track athletes -- and doesn't yet maximize his explosive athleticism with how he re-directs from a skill standpoint transitioning routes, and can be a tad spotty with his technique making plays on the football at depth.
White may be used in a very limited way as an extra defensive back on the field when ASU is in nickel personnel, and he's shown some aptitude to handle man coverage situations to some degree, though it's still unclear whether that's effective enough to have it be valuable in the Pac-12.
Projected depth chart status: White figures to be on the field as much as anyone on offense, particularly given that he's going to also be the team's primary kick returner and may be its punt returner, and also could play on punt and kickoff coverage units. He's certainly one of the top two returning wide receivers on the roster along with Cameron Smith, and White can play either in the slot or on the outside, so he's versatile.