Trip to Auburn Surprises Big Defensive Tackle

Big Jeffrey Whitaker talks about recruiting and Gene Chizik's team in an interview with Inside the Auburn Tigers.

Warner Robins, Ga.--Jeffrey Whitaker, who visited Auburn in the spring and then attended an Auburn summer camp, found the intensity level on campus amped up more than a couple of notches on his latest journey to check out Gene Chizik's Tigers.

Whitaker visited Jordan-Hare Stadium this past Saturday to watch Auburn's exciting 41-30 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers.

The defensive tackle from Warner Robins High School says he enjoyed the game and got a kick out of the fans.

"I know that at SEC games the fans can get loud and crazy, but I have never seen anything like that," he says with a chuckle.

Despite a driving downpour that caused an hour-plus rain delay, 15,000 Auburn students showed their support for the football team by standing out in the weather waiting for the action to start. Not lightning nor 3 3/4 inches of rain moved them from the student section.

"I have heard loud crowds before, but I have never heard a crowd so loud from the start to finish," he points. "They were really enjoying the game."

Whitaker is a high priority recruit for a lot of colleges and Auburn is no exception. The 6-4, 295-pound high school senior says the Tigers are one of the teams he is seriously considering, but says it is too early to name favorites. He says that his next unofficial visit will likely be to check out at game in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee, but has not set a date for that yet.

He notes that he likes Auburn's Tracy Rocker, who coaches the defensive linemen and who is also his recruiting coach.

Jeffrey Whitaker previously played basketball, but is focusing on football as a senior.

The big lineman says he is focused on his season and trying to be a good leader for Warner Robins High School. "I think the big difference for me from last year to this year is that being a senior I am trying to be a leader on the field," he says. "So far the season is going well. We play Valdosta this week."

Whitaker's summer project was to drop weight to become quicker and he says that he has made a lot of progress in that area. Strength is not an issue for a guy who bench presses 425 pounds and squats 585.

"I have lost 35 pounds and I am down to 296," he says. "That is a pretty good weight for me, but I won't be surprised if by the end of the season I lose some more and am down to around 290."


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