Talented DB Starting Off Strong

This impressive newcomer talks about his first week of practice and making the transition to big-time college football.

Auburn, Ala.--After some of the veteran players had a chance to see Jonathan Wilhite's coverage skills in the voluntary passing drills over the summer there was a bit of a buzz going around the Auburn Athletic complex about the talent level the newcomer possessed.

Wilhite has been able to carry that strong play over from the voluntary workouts into the second week of fall practices, which he says only makes him want to take his game up another notch before the start of the season.

"I am trying to keep a positive mind and I think I am doing pretty good," he explains. "I am moving up on the depth chart a little bit and I am just going to try and work harder and harder every day, and every time I come out I am going to try and get better."

"Well, it has been good so far," he adds about his first week of practices at the D-I level. "I mean Coach (Auburn defensive coordinator David Gibbs) has been working us in and I have been working out with the twos and threes. It is a faster game. It's a faster pace, more physical and I am loving it so far."

Jonathan Wilhite works in coverage during a preseason practice.

Along with explaining that he is enjoying everything about the chance to play big-time college football, he notes that the increased level of competition has been his favorite part.

"Being able to go against good receivers like Devin Aromashodu, Ben Obomanu, Courtney Taylor and Anthony Mix," he says. "Also, being able to learn the plays and, now getting a chance to execute them and getting out there with some of the older guys and they are helping me correct my mistakes."

Out of that group of receivers, Wilhite and Taylor had a bit of running battle going with each other during summer workouts. That on-field competition led to a quick friendship, and Wilhite says that is something that has really carried over into the fall as well.

"Yeah, Courtney and myself, we talk off the field a lot and he helps correct me on a lot of my mistakes," he notes. "He tells me when I am doing something wrong. Me and Courtney have a good relationship and what he is trying to do is make me a better corner and a more physical corner."

Being more physical is something that is certainly expected of cornerbacks on the SEC level, and Wilhite says that is something he likes, but also explains that it is an area where he has some work to do.

"Yeah, I like coming up on the run a lot and it is a lot more physical here than in junior college. The receivers' job is to block you and they are going to try hard to do that. That is letting me know that I need to get in the weight room more and get stronger"

Along with getting more physical and coming to work hard every time he steps on the field, Wilhite says the other major assignment that he will have to stay on top of is being consistent in his game and his work ethic everyday.

"Now, you are expected to come up and make tackles, you are expected to make plays and you are expected to be in your spot and Coach isn't taking any excuses," he explains. "So, he expects us to do our job and I am just going to do what it takes."

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