Four-Star DT Talks About Auburn Decision

Big Jeffrey Whitaker talks about Auburn, family and the future.

Warner Robins, Ga.--On Monday the Auburn Tigers added a huge piece of the recruiting puzzle when four-star defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker committed to the Tigers over Miami, Georgia, North Carolina and dozens of other offers. Needing help at the position coming into the class, coach Gene Chizik's Tigers should be helped tremendously by the massive defensive tackle.

"I'm going to be a three-technique," Whitaker said. "Hopefully I can move some guys out of my way and make my way to the quarterback, running back, or whoever has the ball."

It's obvious that the relationships built during this recruiting class have already paid huge dividends for the Auburn coaching staff. Whitaker said that's one of the biggest reasons why in the end he decided to be a Tiger, but it's not the only one.

"I feel real comfortable with all of them," Whitaker said. "Then there is the class coming in. There is a pretty big bond between us. We've been keeping in touch for quite some time now. They've been keeping me on the radar as well, but just the class I'm coming in with I just feel at home."

One of the coaches that had a big impact on Whitaker's decision was his future position coach Tracy Rocker. A standout player while with the Tigers that has become one of the most respected position coaches in the SEC, Whitaker said he's looking forward to playing for Rocker at Auburn.

"I think it's the main thing when you're making a decision like this, you've got to look at who you're going to be around a lot," Whitaker said. "The head coach is nice and everything, but your position coach is going to be like your head coach. I think he's going to be a guy that is going to have my back 100 percent and a guy I can learn a lot of great things from other than football."

Jeffrey Whitaker holds his nephew on his lap while family members watch at his announcement ceremony on Monday. On the left is Warner Robins High School head football coach Bryan Way.

Visiting Miami this past weekend, Whitaker said he knew on Sunday that Auburn as the school for him. After making phone calls to Miami and Georgia letting them know he was headed elsewhere, he said he finally had time to soak the recruiting process and the last year in.

"It was a big relief," Whitaker said. "That's kind of when I knew it was the right choice. It was a big relief and I could sleep about it. Now I look forward to making a big impact.

"It wasn't tough, it was aggravating," Whitaker said of the whole process. "Everybody calling you and this and that. When I was little I always said I wanted to be a rock star or a celebrity. After this I just want to be a simple person. It wasn't tough. Pressure is what you get out of it. There wasn't any pressure, it was just aggravating from time to time."

While he always dreamed of being a celebrity, Whitaker said he also dreamed one day of playing college football. Now that it's a reality he said he'll look back on everything he's been through knowing it prepared him for his future.

"It's a dream that I probably though would never happen," Whitaker said. "We came up hard. We didn't have everything. We didn't have the Nike brands. I can remember the day coming to school with holes in my shoes. Looking in the closet there were like four outfits. We stayed together. I wish my mom was here. About five and half years ago she passed. It's a dream, but I'm not done."

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