‘I feel like a bigger playmaker’: Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ receiver Tim White ready to take that next step

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ receiver Tim White expects big things from himself heading into his second season in the CFL.

“I feel like a bigger playmaker,” White said. “I feel like last year I came out and I made some plays, but this year I feel a lot more sure in my decisions.”

The Santa Clarita, California native led the Ticats in receptions (56) and yards (774) in 2021 while also scoring a pair of touchdowns and contributing in the running game. White’s play garnered him an East Division all-star nod after finishing sixth in the league in receiving yards during the truncated 2021 campaign.

The Arizona State University product has big shoes to fill this season after the Tabbies parted ways with beloved fan favourite and former Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks, who signed with the Toronto Argonauts in February.

White will now be tasked with replacing Banks as one of the team’s primary receiving options next to former all-star Bralon Addison. White is looking forward to playing more with Addison, who was limited to just three games last year due to a variety of injuries.

“I like playing with Bralon because he’s so smart,” White explained. “He sees the defence and he’s able to tell you certain things you might not have been thinking about. Playing next to him is awesome.”

White has been one of the standouts during the early days of Ticats’ training camp, consistently beating defenders during one-on-ones and catching almost everything thrown his way during 12-on-12 drills.

After narrowly missing out on the Tokyo Olympics last summer, White put his world-class speed to good use during his rookie season. The new location of the hash marks should open things up significantly for the 27-year-old as he looks to top what he accomplished during his first CFL campaign.

“When you go to the field side, it just seems like there’s so much more space,” White noted this week. “When you get the ball I feel there’s a lot of space to run. To the boundary side, it feels like you’re basically down south. I feel like the middle of the field is going to be a lot more fun and we’ll be able to work the sidelines a lot better.”

Last year ended poorly for White. Not only did the Ticats lose the Grey Cup, but he was the player who took the controversial knee that turned a two-point Winnipeg lead into a three-point deficit late in the game. The Ticats kicked the tying field goal at the end of regulation but would ultimately fall in overtime to the defending champion Blue Bombers.

That disappointment doesn’t seem to have affected White’s mentality at all.

“I’m just looking to be the best playmaker out there,” he insisted. “I’m definitely confident in my ability.”

If that ability translates to the type of production White is capable of generating then the Tiger-Cats will have a good shot at championship redemption in 2022.

Josh Smith has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.