One of Whatley’s recent offers came from Georgia Tech and Coach Ron West. “Coach West called my head coach and then Coach West offered me. The offer didn’t come as a surprise to Tijai as Tech Coach Lamar Owens had informed him that Coach West would be calling with good news.
Whatley had previously visited Tech to watch one of their spring practices. On that visit, he toured the facilities. The locker room, weight room, and indoor facility were all part of that tour. Whatley enjoyed watching the practice. “They played with a lot of enthusiasm.”
Even though he plays both running back and corner, Tijai is being recruited by most schools as a running back or slot back. At 6’2”-194, Tech is looking at Whatley as an A-Back. Tijai has run a low 40 of 4.41.
Purdue, Miami of Ohio, Wake Forest, and Middle Tennessee are schools that are coming hard after Whatley. “My cousin was a big running back at Middle Tennessee so they really want me to come there.” Tech has now joined that group. “Coach Owens came to my school a few days after they offered.”
Tijai plans to use his school visits to help narrow down his list. “I want to see which schools are better than the others and what each school has to offer.” When making his decision Whatley will be looking at the value of the degree in his major field as well as which school pushes him to go to study hall and turn in his work. “I’ll be looking to see which coaches push me to excel on the field and in the classroom.” Tech will be one of those schools getting a visit from Whatley. “I plan to be there June 1.”
The focus for Tijai right now is not on recruiting. “Right now my parents and my coach want me to focus on the summer and finishing up school. I’ll then sit down with my head coach, my mom, and dad and look at what each school is offering.” Tijai has also not thought about when he’ll make his college choice.