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With 15 days left until Virginia Tech takes the field against Appalachian State, we turn our attention to number 15 on roster, Mr. Eddie Whitley. Whitley’s career here at Virginia Tech has seemingly blown by. Part of that is due to not redshirting his freshman season and playing only sparingly on special teams. So, it was really his sophomore season before Whitley saw much playing time. He also recorded his first start at cornerback during that historic 2009 Nebraska game. Now a senior, Whitley’s career is about to come to an end but hopefully, it ends with a bang. With a full season as the starting free safety under his belt, I’m expecting big things out of Mr. Whitley this season.
Weight: 200 lbs
Position: Free Safety
High School: Butler High School
How Did He Get Here
Whitley wasn’t a highly ranked recruit. He was only a 5.5 three star on Rivals.com. However, the North Carolina native boasted an impressive offer list with scholarships from Oregon, California, Georgia, Louisville, UNC, NC State, UVA, and Virginia Tech just to name a few. Whitley’s decision came down to NC State and Virginia Tech with the Butler High School standout choosing Tech on July 23rd, 2007.
I’m sure the 2010 season is one that most of the defensive players on this team would like to forget. The Hokies saw their statistical rating fall out of the top 50 for the first time since 2003. Honestly, I’m not a coach so I can’t tell you why that happened. Early on in the season, it seemed like a lot of miscommunication and mental errors. After that, Tech just didn’t have much talent to overcome some of the mistakes they made.
Whitley started slow at free safety and made a few mistakes in his first few games. Obviously, that’s expected out of a first year starter but the former Butler star made up for it later on in the season. After a few games, Whitley become more of a playmaker and has always been a sure tackler. He finished his junior campaign with 80 total tackles, four tackles for loss, six pass breakups, and two interceptions. More on one of those interceptions in a bit.
As I said previously, I’m expecting Whitley to have a spectacular senior season. There are really two reasons for that. First, when you’re a senior, you’ve gone through enough meetings, enough film sessions, and enough practices to know just about everything you need to know. That means the position should feel more natural to him this season allowing him to make quicker reads and become more of a leader on the field. Second, Whitley is just a good athlete. He’s quick, has good hips, and can jack somebody up when needed. If he can keep himself healthy, he could find himself on quite a few post-season All-American lists this winter.
His first half interception against UNC. If I did a list of top 10 plays in 2010, this would probably be in the top three. The look on TJ Yates’s face is priceless.
Missing the Duke game last season with a foot injury.
Completely made up fact
Despite a shorter stature, Whitley would still be on my list of five VT players “That I would least like to see tackle me.”
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