Jeffrey Whitaker, a 6-3, 295-pound defensive tackle, announced at Warner Robins High School on Monday afternoon that he has chosen the Tigers over Georgia, Miami and North Carolina. He took official visits to each of those universities.
"It (Auburn) just felt comfortable," Whitaker said. "There was no question. I couldn't turn away from it. It just felt like home when I went to Auburn."
Whitaker said that Miami was his second choice, but realized on his way home from an official visit on to Miami on Sunday that he was going to sign with Auburn. He said Georgia was his third choice and noted that at one time he seriously considered signing with the Bulldogs.
Rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com and the number 11 defensive tackle prospect in the nation, the U.S. Army All-American said his relationship with the Auburn coaches and the quality of the people he met in Auburn were major factors in influencing him to select the Tigers after being recruiting by colleges around the country.
Whitaker notes that he has been impressed by his future position coach, Tracy Rocker, who was known as a tough, physical player at Auburn where he was the first SEC player to win both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award. Both are presented to the nation's top college offensive lineman.
Commenting on his style of play, Whitaker tells Inside the Auburn Tigers, "I just tried to dominate. I?am just a defensive lineman, nothing else. There is nothing flashy about me. I just try to go out there and dominate the guy in front of me."
That was the way Whitaker played in the Georgia North-South All-Star Game in Columbus where he was one of the top performers in the contest.
Jeffrey Whitaker (above) rushes the passer in his team's victory in the Georgia North-South All-Star Game. Below he makes a tackle on a running play.
"That all-star game was a great experience," he says. "It was a humbling experience because everybody is used to being the man and in that type of game everybody has to learn to play together. It is a game that gets you ready for college. I hope I played well and represented the South team well."
He also played in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio.
"That was another great experience and once again it was another humbling experience because everybody was good," Whitaker says. "The players were a little bit better (than the Georgia game) and there were some big boys out there, but I held my own and I got a chance to start it off so it was a great experience."
Whitaker says the decision on a college is one he made with both his head and his heart.
"It is all about people," he says. "I don't like to hang around stupid people. I am not trying to be a butt about it, but I am just telling you straight-up. My decision is based on on where my heart is. This is a 40-year decision, not a four-year decision."