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Jordan Whittington has been a known commodity in the recruiting world since his highlights hit the scene after his freshmen year and he showed he can do a little bit of everything on the football field. Whittington is one of the most athletic recruits in the state and in the country and he has the ability to be a very good player on either side of the ball, but he has made it clear he wants to be a collegiate receiver wherever he ends up signing. Whittington has been adamant about making an early commitment before his senior season, but it has become a routine for him to set and move back his decision date going back to around this time last year. While this recruitment hasn’t been without theatrics, one of the consistent themes with Whittington has been his love for Texas and him constantly making his way to Austin to visit campus and spend time with the coaching staff. Texas was a tad bit slower to offer compared to some other schools, but the moment they entered the picture they shifted the momentum and became a key player along with schools like Florida, Texas A&M, and UCLA. While Whittington made several trips to all of those schools and A&M made a credible push with Jimbo Fisher and his new staff, Texas managed to withstand the surge and continued to get Whittington back to campus and build the relationship. Texas has been in the middle of this recruitment for some time now and Whittington had come close to committing before, but he has now made things official and decided to make his commitment to Tom Herman and the Longhorns. Film Analysis Player Information Name: Jordan Whittington Position (s): WR, S High School: Cuero City & State: Cuero, TX Measurables Height: 6’1 (Verified) Weight: 198 (Verified) 40-yard: 4.68 (Verified) Shuttle: 4.07 (Verified) Vertical: 32.7 (Verified) Statistics 2016: 41 Rushes, 336 rushing yards, 4 TDs, 44 receptions, 797 receiving yards, 12 TDs, DEF: 6 INTs (2 INT TD RETs), 2 KOR TDs, 1 PR TD 2017: 34 Rushes, 227 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 73 receptions, 1457 receiving yards, 16 TDs, DEF: 3 INTs (1 INT TD RET), 1 PR TD Film http://www.hudl.com/profile/6108258/Jordan-Whittington Pros: Fantastic athlete who is incredibly versatile and can probably project to at least three different positions. Possesses a good muscular frame and has proven to be pretty durable with the number of snaps he plays. Displays good burst and acceleration and has decent long speed. You don’t see him getting caught from behind much. Solid hands catcher who shows he can high point the football. Shows the willingness to go up and compete for the 50/50 balls. Piles up a ton of YAC the catch and proves to be very elusive when he has the ball in his hands. Shows on tape that he is a willing blocker and will give good effort doing so. Shows he is capable of making adjustments on the ball while it’s in the air. Has good vision as a ball carrier and has a knack for setting up his blocks well. Provides value on special teams as a return man and can probably contribute there early in his career. Shows he is a weapon when given the ball space. The type of player that you need to manufacture touches for, Willing tackler that doesn’t shy away from contact. Has very good range from the center of the field and chews up ground in a hurry. His ball skills translate to both sides of the football. If he gets anywhere near the ball he will make a play on it. Cons: · His ceiling is likely at safety on the defensive side off the ball, but he is pretty dug in on playing receiver at the collegiate level. · When guys split time between so many positions I worry about them lacking reps at the position they project to long term. · Will need to show he can run more branches of the route tree consistently. · Used to being the best athlete on any field he steps on and will be making a big leap up from a lower classification when he heads to college. Expect some growing pains in that regard. · Not sure where I like him better as far as inside of outside receiver right now. Will be something they will need to be played by ear. · Can contribute early on special teams, but I’m not sure if he is a plug and play from Day one at receiver due to him focusing still needing some grooming at the position. Summary Jordan Whittington is a soon to be four year starter for Cuero and is arguably the most versatile player in the state of Texas, as he is featured in all three phases of the game for the Gobblers. Whittington possesses a very solid, muscular frame similar to a running back’s, but possesses the movements and twitch for receiver or defensive back. Whittington is the straw that stirs the drink for Cuero, as he is their go-to wide receiver, he’s featured often as the wildcat QB, he starts at safety, and he is also the return man on both punts and kickoffs. Whittington is not average at any of the previously mentioned positions and has legitimate collegiate potential at several positions if he decided to focus on them specifically. As a receiver, he shows he is a good hands catcher of the football and that he can go up and high point the football in coverage and will consistently compete for the 50/50 balls. Whittington shows that he can consistently get separation on vertical routes against off or press coverage and also shows that he can be very dangerous in the screen game due to his ability to be elusive after the catch. Whittington shows that he is capable of piling up YAC once the ball is in hands, but he still needs to develop as a route runner and show he is capable of running the entire route tree if he is going to focus on playing receiver at the next level. While he is the key cog offensively, he shows on tape he is willing to get his hands dirty as a blocker when the ball goes elsewhere and that he will give effort in that regard. Whether it is in the wildcat or as a receiver, Whittington shows that he possesses good vision and the ability to setup his blocks as a ball carrier. He is patient and creative and once he identifies his running lane he explodes through it often for big gains. This aspect of his game is on full display when Whittington is returning punts and kicks and it will be a trait that will make himself valuable in this regard early on in his career at the collegiate level. As a defender, Whittington’s ball skills translate from the offensive side of the ball along with his playmaking ability. If he gets anywhere near the ball he is making a play on it whether it’s an interception, PBU, making a big hit and separating the receiver from the ball etc. He is extremely rangy from the middle of the field as a safety chews up ground in a hurry in pursuit to either sideline. He is a willing tackler capable of laying the big hit and isn’t one to shy away from contact or make business decisions in this aspect of his game. Whittington’s athleticism on the back end of a defense could be a serious weapon at the next level if he chose to pursue it and he worked on it full time and I believe his ceiling is even higher than what it is on the offensive side of the ball. Whittington is one of the more intriguing prospects you will find in the state and the country this cycle due to his athleticism and versatility and he will no doubt have offensive and defensive coaches fighting over him whenever he arrives on campus. Final Verdict Whittington’s talent is undeniable and he is one of the most talented prospects I’ve watched on tape so far this cycle. Even though it comes with its drawbacks, you have to love guys who are so selfless, that they are willing to play practically every snap in all three phases of the game to help their team win, and that’s what Whittington does right now. While his recruitment carried a bit of drama (and probably will have more at some point), landing him is absolutely huge for Texas and gives the staff their first national Top 50 commitment of the cycle. Getting Whittington in the boat no doubt makes the statement that last cycle’s success was no fluke and that Tom Herman’s staff is going to continue to be a force on the recruiting trail this cycle and that the in-state elites continue to hold Texas in high regard. Whittington has made it clear that he sees himself a wide receiver and that is where Texas intends to play him when he arrives in Austin. I will still maintain that while he does have the ability to be a very good player on offense, that his ceiling is even higher on the defensive side of the football. With Whittington in the boat, Texas will continue pursue guys like Garrett Wilson, Elijah Higgins, and Dylan Wright to fill out their numbers at the position. If Texas is able to swing that group, that would be an extremely salt grouping that is dripping with potential and athleticism that would make a guy like Roschon Johnson very happy I imagine.