Shockley on ATH Levonte Whitfield's future


Former University of Georgia and Atlanta Falcons quarterback D.J. Shockley coached the offense for the Southeast team at Champion Gridiron Kings this July. Shockley shared his thoughts with ESPN's NoleNation on new Seminoles commitment Levonte Whitfield, a wide receiver on Team Southeast, and how he feels the four-star prospect projects at the college level.

What were your initial thoughts after watching him go against some of the country's best in the 7-on-7 tournament at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports?

Shockley: He reminds me a lot of a guy I played with, Damien Gary, at Georgia, but he's a little bit faster. He is a shifty guy that understands concepts, he understands where I need him to be. That is going to bode well for him, especially on the next level ... All the plays that I was calling for us, they were pro plays, college plays that he had to understand coverages, had to understand where he's supposed to be. I think he is already ahead of the curve as far as understanding what defenses are trying to do and where you need to be. I think he has all the physical attributes to play on the next level so it should be interesting.

Q: Fans can be somewhat skeptical of shorter targets because they are worried that they aren't well rounded enough. Does he have the physical and mental ability to make up for what he lacks in size?

Shockley: I think the height thing, I know everybody kind of makes a big thing of it when they see all these receivers that are 6-3 and 6-4, but there are also guys under six feet that are good possession receivers, guys that can go deep and stretch the field and they can also make plays in between the hashes that you need, especially on third down, short option routes and all that. He's the kind of player that can make those plays and be productive. He doesn't have to be the tall guy that you throw jump balls to in the red zone. When I had him, he stretched the field really well, he runs well, he knows how to get open and once you get the ball in his hands, that's a whole different story. There is a lot of ways on the next level that you can get him the ball where his height won't really be a big factor."