Depth Chart Thoughts: Tight End

A rundown of thoughts about each position on the Illinois roster, continuing with tight end.

And we're moving on to the tight ends, a position with mad potential yet an unsure path to reaching it.

Initial word that comes to mind: Healthy?

Second word that comes to mind: Diverse.

Third word that comes to mind: Depth.

How I see the pecking order:
Jon Davis
Matt LaCosse
Evan Wilson
Tyler White
Tim Clary

First of all, I wish I could tell you Jon Davis will be able to play at 100 percent all of this season. Hell, I wish I could tell you he's healthy right now. I'm crazy about Davis' potential and the number of ways I think he could be used. If his knee isn't capable of holding up, that would be a shame. We'll see…

Behind Davis, I've got LaCosse ahead of Wilson, even though Wilson might be on the field more frequently. I know, that sounds like a dumb sentence. It's just that I like the way LaCosse is built and he has more uses than Wilson.

Wilson is a solid blocking senior, but his hands aren't very good. Call me crazy, but I think LaCosse could play in the NFL one day if he can put it all together. He just has the look of a pro tight end.

The freshman White has enjoyed a great showing in training camp. With LaCosse battling a concussion for some time and Davis frequently in and out to rest his knee, White took full advantage of the extra reps. He's raw, but he probably possesses the best total skill-set at the position -- size, speed and hands.

Clary is a hard-working big body that can play tight end and h-back. Good source of depth, for sure.

Brief breakdown:
Just show us what we know can be: Davis
Just show us how good you really could be: LaCosse
Just show us how really good you really could be: White
Goal line unsung heros: Wilson and Clary

Final thought: This could be one of the more productive positions Illinois has this year. Davis could even be the best player on the roster, overall. Yeah, that's me sticking my neck out there, but I feel that strongly about his ability. It's his health that's the question mark, so we'll see. Even with Davis a risky bet, LaCosse and White are wonderful players in the making and solid contributors like Wilson and Clary are add-ons to create a group that has top-end talent and really strong, diverse depth. OC Bill Cubit won't shy away from using two or even three tight ends on any given play if that's what he thinks gives the offense an edge. That mentality should serve this group well, and I expect more than two tight ends to play a pivotal role in every game.


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