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Friday, January 29, 2010

Whitaker Talks About His Decision

I've been told by about a half-dozen people who know a thing or two about football that the perfect fit at nose tackle in Todd Grantham's new scheme would be Warner-Robins' defensive lineman Jeff Whitaker, who will be announcing his college decision on Monday. (He's also considering Miami and Auburn.)

The Telegraph's preps writer, Jonathan Heeter, spent some time with Whitaker earlier this week and will have a more in depth story in Sunday's paper (so be sure to pick it up!), but here's a bit of what Whitaker had to say about UGA and his upcoming decision.

On Todd Grantham:
“He’s a really great guy. I think he is going to do a great job with the defense. He's honest with you and shoots straight, and that means a lot.”

On Grantham's scheme:
“I’ve played some 3-4 defense. I feel comfortable with it, although it isn’t what we played most of the time. I think (Georgia) feels like I would be a very good fit at nose tackle.”

On Georgia vs. the other programs he's deciding between:
“The thing I tell people all the time is that Georgia will be great with me or without me. It’s a great football program, and they have a great coaching staff."

On his decision to announce his decision Monday rather than to wait until signing day:
“I wanted to get it out of the way before Signing Day. Signing Day is a day for all of my teammates who are signing, not just me. It’s about our Warner Robins family.”

And one more big reason to like this kid -- he told Jonathan that he won't be doing the traditional picking from a row of hats because he doesn't want it to seem like a slap in the face of the other coaches who recruited him. “I’m not playing games with those men when I make my pick,” he said.

Classy kid who's going to be a heck of a player.

One other thing: A few of you have asked about our coverage of signing day. Last year, I was in Butts-Mehre for the entirety of the day and live blogged the event. My plan was to do something similar this year, but with the construction going on at Butts-Mehre, the media has been pushed over to Stegeman. So... I'm not entirely sure how I'll be doing it yet, but I can promise you that we'll have full coverage (or as much as possible at least) on the blog as the day progresses. Mark Richt is scheduled to meet with media at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, so I'll obviously have updates from that as well.


Sam said...

He doesn't seem to be that enthusiastic about UGA. Sounds like he'll be attending Auburn this fall.

Anonymous said...

Gut feel, I think Sam is right. Why would you make the statement about UGA being OK either way? That is correct, but why say it unless you are trying to smooth the waters of home town folks? Sounds like a great kid, I wish him well. I really don't understand why Macon and Warner Robbins isn't more of a UGA lock for top athletes. This should be a no-brainer for UGA with Auburn and Miami as the other choices. I get the Columbus connection to Auburn, but the Macon area? Makes no sense from a logistics, talent, depth-chart, coaching, or program standpoint. He clearly has to see the opportunity for playing time, and Auburn is definitely a fading star, and will be as long as Saban is in Tusky. Miami would be crazy unless he has family ties there.

Anonymous said...

Why does Whitaker alway look constipated?

Anonymous said...

I think UGA is going to land the other DT (Thorton?) but lose out on Whitaker and (sadly) lose Da'Rick to Tennessee. I don't think signing day is going to be pleasent for UGA fans.

Chess said...

I go to school with Jeff, and he is truly a great guy...he's one of the hardest working people I know and he'll fit in wherever he goes because of that.

That being said, I really get the feel from him that he wants to stay in the SEC, whether that be UGA or AU. I know he really clicked with Tracy Rocker, so I'm leaning AU, but I obviously have been doing all I can for UGA, and from hearing him talk, I'd say he truly hasn't made up his mind yet.

Again, great guy and I hope to see him in red and black this fall

Dawgsopinion said...

Thornton is pretty much a lock. Christian Green is about 50/50 same as Whitaker. Rogers is really iffy right now. Hopefully he is just waiting for Nash Nance to sign his LOI on Wednesday then he will sign with UGA. Robey has fallen of the planet since he met with Lakatos and Grantham yesterday. It is going to be a really interesting Wednesday to say the least. We can either land a top 5-10 class or drop to around 15-20.

mathew said...

I don't see how any of could think this isn't going to be great day for UGA football. We will end up having 20 so or wonderful football players joining our university. This will be a great day of bringing the new life blood to A-Town. If you think losing Da'Rick is going to ruin the day then you are sending the wrong mesaage to the rest of the guys in this class. This class will be great with or without one player. Too many people base a great recruiting class on one guy. If this one guy does not want to be a Georgia Bulldog, so be it. I hate to lose a guy of this talent to the likes of UT but oh well if it happens. However, I feel as if Mr. Rogers will make the right decision on Signing Day and will Sign with The Georgia Bulldogs. He has been committed for over half a year and is still committed.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a high quality, classy kid. Kudos to his parents for raising such a humble, talented & grounded young man. I wish we had 20 of him every season. Whoever lands him will be lucky indeed. I hope it's UGA. Regardless, i wish him well in all of his endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Auburn provides nicer cars for the kids. I'm saying this as a true statement, not tongue in cheek. I've seen it first hand more than once. I hate to lose out on a kid like this, but it's a fact he'll be going back home in a much nicer vehicle for the holidays if he attends AU. And yes, that does mean something to any 18 year old.

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that someone would choose Auburn. Maybe the place itself isn't a big factor to some of these guys, but...Auburn? I mean, really? Opelika?

I would think that anyone of merit in the state of Alabama would go to Alabama, and if you are from Georgia and have the chance to go to UGA -- why would you even be considering Auburn? The only thing that I can think of is that there is less academic pressure (let's face it -- Auburn, like UT, has zero academic standards for athletes beyond NCAA minimums). And I suppose as long as Richt is at the helm at UGA, Georgia will only go so far to "sell" the UGA program to these kids. Good guys lose out sometimes by being too straight...

The Watch Dawg said...

“The thing I tell people all the time is that Georgia will be great with me or without me. It’s a great football program, and they have a great coaching staff."

Why doesn't he just come out and say he's not going to Georgia? That's what that sounds like to me.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:24, yeah, what a great way to start a cheater. Could also sell drugs and drive a nice car too. He doesn't sound like that kind of kid to me. Just don't see the attration at Alabama's #2 school. He will not compete for any rings in Auburn, the education is a downgrade, and you break the home state network when you need a job after football is over.

As for Rogers, I feel he is about 50/50 but will probably go to TN as he will play earlier. He would not break through at receiver in Athens. I am fine if he goes there. He has a huge attitude/ego problem that will have to be dealt with. Rogers has a lot of talent, but he is a project. I would prefer someone who doesn't have so much "I" in them. Been burned too many times.

Anonymous said...

It doesnt matter if UGA gets all these top recruits, they won't know what to do with them if they get them! Just look at the past 3 or 4 recruiting classes UGA has signed. Top 5 classes each year, nothing to show. Maybe Richt should recruit a new mascot that won't die after a year or two, That should be a starting point.

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