Whiteside pondering his options

Four-star linebacker Cecil Whiteside committed to Cal back in April, but since then has opened up his recruitment. Arizona State has been one the beneficiaries of that move as the Newport Harbor High School standout officially visited the Sun Devils this past weekend. Devils Digest talked to him about his trip to Tempe and where he stands right now with his recruitment.

The 6-3 205 Cecil Whiteside, ranked nationally as the 6th best middle linebacker prospect by Scout.com, was impressed with many aspects of his visit to Arizona State.

"I had a lot of fun checking out the campus and the facilities," Whiteside said. "I really liked the bubble where they practice. It was real cool how the offense and the defense each have their own field to practice on. I also liked how close the freshmen dorms were to the stadium. Everything was really nice.

"They are very nice players on the team and the coaches make sure you're doing OK on the field and in the classroom. You really feel like a team is a family that takes care of each other."

Whiteside was hosted by Sun Devil linebacker Shelly Lyons, and was very complimentary of the efforts that Lyons and the ASU defense put forward in a close 14-9 loss to USC.

"I just loved how the linebackers just fly to the ball all the time," Whiteside recalled. "USC has some good players that are hard to bring down, but the defense really played well against them. If it wasn't for that one big play they gave up they would have won the game. The defense pretty much shut them down and really stepped up and fought hard."

Whiteside admitted that he considers his pledge to the Golden Bears as a soft one. He also visited Colorado prior to the Sun Devils, and said that he doesn't have any plans to take anymore visits (later mentioned that San Diego State was a slim chance for his last visit). He stated that he has Cal and ASU ranked ahead of Colorado in terms of preference.

"Right now I'm just evaluating all my trips," Whiteside commented, "and making sure that I take everything in consideration to make the best decision for me where I will spend my next five years. I just want to make sure that I go to a place where I fit in with the team, that has good environment, good academics and a place where I get to play early."

The ASU prospect said that the maroon and gold are looking at him as a strongside or weak side linebacker and, while Cal is looking to use him as a defensive end in their 3-4 defense. "I like playing the strongside maybe a little more," Whiteside noted, "but I switch positions all the time during the season. I just want to play in a scheme where I'm in a position make plays against the pass and the run."

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