If anyone thought Tim White would get a slow start to preseason camp because of a transition from track to football, his first week on the gridiron proved otherwise.
White, a 5-foot-11, 175 senior wide receiver who finished fourth in the NCAAs in the triple jump, was electric in practices last week in Payson and nearby Camp Tontozona.
Arizona State coaches recognized it clearly, and decided to bestow him with the Tillman practice jersey ahead of Saturday's practice. White, who only joined the program last year out of College of the Canyons in Valencia, California, was the only Sun Devil to wear the coveted camouflage jersey during the practice.
"Coach (Todd) Graham just told me this morning in front of the whole team," White said. "It's just an honor to have this experience. To finally get the jersey and accomplish that in a short amount of time is just big time for me and I just want to keep on pushing and be the best I could be."
White acknowledged being surprised by the decision, and understandably so. In Graham's four years in Tempe, offensive players have almost never been in the Tillman jersey. Former quarterback Mike Bercovici wore it for a period of time, but that's basically it.
As a senior, White is looking to improve upon his impressive showing last season in which he had 57 catches for 633 yards and eight touchdowns. White is also one of the top return specialists in the Pac-12.
"He's very aggressive, and he has great athletic ability," ASU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell said. But the thing that you're more impressed with is how physical he is and how hard he plays. He doesn't go down easily. He's not an easy guy to tackle. I respect that more about him than the fact that he's really fast and he's a great athlete because that's more about his mentality and his toughness."