Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Plenty of suitors for 2014 LB Whitley
By Sam Khan Jr.
HOUSTON, Texas -- After a busy track and field season, ESPN Watch List linebacker Zach Whitley Jr. is turning his attention back to football.
The 2014 prospect's time on the track for this season is complete and on Tuesday at Houston North Shore, the soon-to-be-senior was out at Galena Park ISD Stadium, barking out calls to his defensive teammates during 7-on-7 sessions as he and the Mustangs prepare for the 2013 season.
Class of 2014 linebacker Zach Whitley Jr. said Texas is the school that is recruiting him the hardest.
Whitley emerged as a real leader last season, according to his head coach David Aymond, and those qualities combined with his physical ability have colleges all over the country pursuing him. That includes the reigning BCS champion, Alabama, where Whitley will visit this weekend for the first time for A-Day, the Crimson Tide's spring football game.
"I do like Alabama," Whitley said. "To see them play in the spring game, that's going to be a great experience. I've actually not been at a spring game before in my life....I'm really looking forward to it this weekend."
Whitley had plans to attend Texas A&M's Maroon-and-White spring football game but was also scheduled to take the ACT, so he opted to stay home and do the latter and watched the Aggies on ESPN. Whitley did visit Texas A&M in January for the Aggies' first junior day of the year and attended the Texas A&M-LSU game last October.
Earlier this month, Whitley was with his track teammates at the annual Texas Relays and walked over to the football complex to watch a Texas practice and tour the facilities.
"When I went out there, I went and talked to a few Texas coaches because they knew I was out there," Whitley said. "I watched their spring practice and they gave me a little tour around the facilities. ... I had a good time out there. They made me feel at home and it was just great. It was a good practice too. Everybody was flying around. It reminded me of how our practice is [at North Shore]."
Plenty of other schools have been reaching out to Whitley, including Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and TCU, all four of which he said he'd like to visit. Oregon is the only one of the group who hasn't offered him, he said.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound prospect is in no rush to make a decision, saying he prefers to wait at least a few games into the college football season before making the call. As for the school he feels is the most serious about him? The one that had two coaches -- Manny Diaz and Oscar Giles -- out at North Shore on Monday, the first day of the spring evaluation period.
"Texas; they feel as if I'm the No. 1 defensive prospect that they're missing," Whitley said.