Despite winning their first BCS bowl game since the 2000 Sugar Bowl, Whitfield lamented that the Seminoles only scored 31 points on Northern Illinois and won by just 21.
Whitfield openly speaks of starting as a true freshman as both a wide receiver and return specialist. He showed off breathtaking skills for the latter Friday night during the Semper Fi Bowl at Home Depot Center.
Midway through the second quarter, with the East team languishing on offense, Whitfield took a kickoff from the 22-yard line on the right hash, made one quick move to his left and then burst untouched down the middle of the field for a 78-yard touchdown.
"I knew it was coming," Whitfield said. "I had an opportunity, so I took it. I saw the crease, everybody was blocked to one crease, and I could take it."
Whitfield flashed that kind of raw explosion in practice all week, but that was his only touch of the game. He dropped three passes and did not record a catch.
And while his return was a critical play in the East's 17-14 last-second win, Whitfield chose to focus on his mistakes.
"The game was bad," Whitfield said. "I had a bad game. It was not my best game. I was kind of down, but I couldn't let that get to me.
"I had to make up for it."
Still, Whitfield enjoyed the week in Los Angeles and believes he has built relationships that could last a lifetime.
"It was great, it was fun," Whitfield said. "I feel like I'm going to know these players for years, like we was born together. It was good meeting them."
Dan Greenspan writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.