Under-recruited Whitney eyes opportunity

How does a three-star prospect from a California state champion football team only hold a single Division I scholarship offer two weeks before signing day?

Sam Whitney, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end/linebacker prospect from Folsom High School, can tell you exactly how. "My height isn't ideal to a lot of programs," he said. "A lot of teams look for the 6-foot-5 D-end with potential."

Whitney's lone scholarship came from Big Sky school Sacramento State, an FCS program to which he is currently committed. That is until Boise State extended a grayshirt offer to the Northern California prospect Monday afternoon.

Defensive line coach Steve Caldwell and defensive backs coach Julius Brown have been in and out of contact with Whitney, he says, but things picked up in recent weeks as they project him as a defensive end.

When asked if the lack of interest from universities fuels him to get to the next level, Whitney did not hesitate to give an answer.

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"Hell yeah," he said. "I wear a (San Jose State University) bracelet everywhere because they told me I was too small."

Whitney sees his light recruitment as an indictment of college football programs rather than a slight on his abilities. He also sees what the Broncos have done in the past as they have turned unheralded recruits into bonafide stars.

"I think Boise has it figured out that it's better to take a guy maybe an inch or two shorter who already has the skill set," he said. "I think Boise State would be a great fit for me. The football is obviously really good."

Whitney will bring the chip on his shoulder and his luggage to Boise this weekend for an official visit. He says he is looking for a school with a good educational system that compliments football. He wants a family environment and a winning program. To him, the Broncos fit the bill. The only potential hangup is the grayshirt offer.

"I'm not really sure if or how it will affect me," Whitney said. "It will be rough not playing for a while if I decide that. But at the same time it could be really beneficial to me. Just getting bigger, studying the game more, getting technique down and watching film would be a huge advantage."

Whitney will make a final decision after his trip.

"I'll see how this weekend goes and go from there," he said.

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