Instant Impact - No. 4

The list of potential impact freshmen continues with a darkhorse candidate at tight end.

No. 4 - TE Tyler White - Plainwell (Michigan)

White was virtually unknown when Illinois' recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh offered him in the fall, a move that became less questionable the more people got to know the Plainwell (Michigan) native.

A versatile player, White spent time at running back and tight end in high school and could even play offensive or defensive line if needed. By the end of the recruiting process, White moved from an unranked player to a three-star recruit and the No. 65 tight end in the nation.

In his favor: White is still reaching for his ceiling. As previously mentioned, White played numerous positions in high school and should improve tremendously from focusing his time at tight end.

Why he will play: He's big enough and fast enough. White is now 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and was clocked at 10.78 in the 100 meters in high school. With an offense that needs all of it's playmakers in the mix, White's skills are certainly appealing.

Why he will sit: Tight end depth. Junior Jon Davis may be the best athlete on the team, and senior Evan Wilson was said to have had an excellent spring. Those two will get the bulk of the playing time, with junior Matt LaCosse and utility man Tim Clary providing solid depth.

Final thought: I admit, this is a reach on my part. White is clearly a darkhorse due to his quick rise in the fall and the number of usable tight ends on Illinois' roster. I acknowledge all that, but White's athleticism is exciting and his upside is undeniable.


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