Counting down the 50 most important Illini for the 2014 season.
Counting down the most important Illini
No. 45: Tyler White, TE
Why he’s important: If Jon Davis and Matt LaCosse go down with an injury, White is the guy at tight end. He had the chance to win over any skeptics during the spring game with Davis and LaCosse both sidelined, but dropped a few passes thrown his way and didn’t stand out after not catching a pass and recording three tackles on special teams last season. But with Davis having endureded his share of health issues throughout his career at Illinois, White might need to become a factor on offense this fall. It appears he’ll have the chance to start once the 2015 season arrives, and any experience the sophomore can get in game situations this season should provide a boost in the future. Roommate of Wes Lunt comes from a high school program known for its strong running game, so adapting to a pass-happy offense under offensive coordinator Bill Cubit is still a work in progress for White.
Fast fact: Initially thought by some to play defensive end in college, the pride of Plainwell (Mich.) High picked Illinois without much recruiting hoopla. The Class of 2013 recruit had interest from a host of Mid-American Conference schools before he pulled the trigger once Illinois offered.
Last year’s ranking: NA
Tomorrow: No. 44