O-D Bowl: Chad Whitener

FOX Sports NEXT is Scout.com is on the scene in Houston for the 2012 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. While there, we caught up with Mansfield linebacker Chad Whitener. He spoke about why he is confident in his Cal commitment and how his high school season went this past year…

It seems like Mansfield (TX) linebacker Chad Whitener is already making his preparations for the next level. Not only that, the new coaching staff seems to have a plan in place for him as well. 

And while it may have appeared that Whitener was starting to look around at one time during the process (mainly due to coach Jeff Tedford being let go from California), now the Dallas area linebacker feels good about where things stand with the West Coast program.

"Early on, I really fell in love with the facilities and the education. Even with the old coaching staff, they were cool with me," Whitener said. "But when he (Tedford) got fired, I was sort of unsure. But with the hire of coach (Sonny) Dykes, I remembered that he recruited me when he was at Louisiana Tech so I felt comfortable with him and the situation."

That put the 6-foot-2, 245-pound Whitener at ease. But it was Dykes' next move that solidified everything for Whitener.

"When they hired (assistant) coach (Andy) Buh, and seeing what he did with the linebackers at Wisconsin, I felt like Cal was the right place," Whitener said. "I'm solid to Cal."

Surely Bears fans nationwide love the sound of that, especially knowing what a player like Whitener brings to the table. At the O-D Bowl this week, he was able to display some of what he will be doing on the next level. And that includes tough play and great instincts, which are just a few of the characteristics needed to play in a competitive conference like the Pac-12.

"This past season went really good. We didn't play well as a team the first couple of games, but after that we meshed together and we started playing really good ball," Whitener said. "Personally, I had a really good season and I ended up with 140 tackles and an interception. Out here for the bowl game, I'm having a lot of fun working with all of these top players and coaches. It's a good experience and I'm learning a lot."

Whitener said that the Cal coaches want to play him at the middle backer position. Right now, Whitener is open to whatever the situation is once he steps on campus. And has a plan in place for how he sees it all playing out.

"With the way the depth chart works out, I may have to redshirt my freshman year, but I'm not mad about that," Whitener said. "That means I'll go into the spring as a redshirt freshman and I will be fighting for a starting spot then."

Ahmard Vital is responsible for Midlands Recruiting, mainly covering prospects in the state of Texas. He joined Scout.com in 2005 and is the author of the newly released book, Awaken the Baller Within.
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