Junior Defensive End Checks Out Tigers

Defensive end Jake Whaley from Briarwood talks about his recent trip to the Plains.

Birmingham, Ala.--After a knee injury in the final regular season game kept him out of a playoff run that ended in a loss in the 5A title game, Briarwood Christian defensive end Jake Whaley is on the mend and looking towards his future in the game. On Monday he took an unofficial visit to Auburn to check out the Tigers and said the trip was a good one.

"It went well," Whaley said. "It was nice to be able to walk around and see everything, the program and the academics."

With both of his parents being Auburn graduates, the 6-5, 220 Whaley has grown up around the Tigers and watching them play football. Because of that it's obvious he's got a strong interest in coach Gene Chizik's program although he said he's pretty open to everything at the moment.

"I really don't have a preference right now because I've always been in an Auburn family," Whaley said. "I want to get out and see more schools. I don't really have a preference right now.

"I like the tradition and if you're an Auburn fan you're part of the family," he added. "That really means something. I really like the coaching staff with Chizik and all those guys. They all seem to be real strong Christian men. That's what they're trying to make their players to be."

One of the reasons for Whaley's visit was to get a feel for new defensive line coach Mike Pelton. Already familiar with Tracy Rocker, the defensive end said he liked what he saw and heard from the new coach.

"I really like him," Whaley said. "I think he's a great guy. He really seems to have his values together. He sees that it's more than just a game and more than just coaching players."

Currently waiting on his first offer, Whaley said at the moment he's concentrating on getting his knee back to full strength to be ready for his senior year. Not going through spring practice he noted that he'll spend his time getting stronger and continuing to check out schools to find the right fit for him.

"We're thinking about doing more visits and camps and combines," Whaley said. "We'll just have to see because I'm still recovering from knee surgery. I tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus in the 10th game of the season.

"Right now it feels great. I think I'm a little bit ahead of schedule. I'm just trying to get back to running full speed. I'm working on cuts and everything right now to build up my quads."

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