Now that Whaley (6-0, 205) has been to Fayetteville, the four-star propsect is certain about his interest in Arkansas.
“Me coming up here, I have a whole different perspective now,” Whaley said. “It just made my decision a lot harder.”
He enjoyed getting to visit with Razorback head coach Bret Bielema, running backs coach Jamel Singleton and secondary coach Clay Jennings, who is his chief recruiter.
“It was great, really enjoyed it and took it all in,” Whaley said. “It was great to meet some of the coaches I had not met before and talk to Coach B, Coach Singleton and Coach Jennings.”
Arkansas coaches have stressed to Whaley how he would likely have a chance to make a big impact as a freshman as both senior Jonathan Williams and junior Alex Collins could be playing in the NFL in 2016.
Whaley is ranked as the eighth-best tailback in the country by Scout.com.
“It’s pretty high up (as a factor),” Whaley said. “With losing those two, it is a possibility, but you still would have to come in and compete with the other backs that are here. So it is all about you and what you do as far as coming in and competing.”
He also knows that if he signs with the Razorbacks that Arkansas plays Texas A&M every year at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium and have games with TCU ahead on the schedule.
“They play A&M in Dallas and that is pretty cool,” Whaley said. “I watched some film on that. I forgot all about that actually.”
Whaley rushed for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns and has a final five list of Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M.
“I’ve thought about doing a silent commit and announcing at the Under Armour All-Star Game,” Whaley said. “That is what I might end up doing.
“If not, it would hopefully be before the season….But I think I will take my officials and see how the season goes with each team.”
Whaley made it clear that he knows there is more to being a running back in college than just toting the football.
His goal is to master all aspects to be able to stay on the field for every down.
“Being an every down back, you have to be able to do everything,” Whaley said. “You have to be flexible and be able to catching ball and most importantly be able to block.
“I just want to be an all-around back and stay on the field all four downs.”
Whaley went over his five finalists.
• Georgia: “Run the bowl, powerhouse, SEC, coaching staff is great.”
• Arkansas: “Pretty much same, powerhouse, run the ball as well, produce good running backs and put them in the league and the coaching staff is great, too, as is the environment.”
• Texas and Texas A&M: “They are in my home state so just growing up and watching Texas and Texas A&M. Great programs as well, especially academically, as are all five of my schools.”
• Oklahoma: “Pretty much the same thing. Produce some good things as well, great academics and (Sooners head) Coach (Bob) Stoops is great as well. Great coaching staff as well.”