On Tuesday, at West End High School, the 6-6, 245-pound Scout.com five star defensive end announced that he would sign with Louisville
In a ceremony at the school's library with other West End players making announcements, the defensive end's comment that he was going to Louisville was met with stunned silence in the room, followed by whishper that were punctuated by polite applause from about five people.
Whitehead explained his decision by saying, "When I took my visit to Louisville I fell in love with it right off the top," he said. "To me Louisville is a program on the rise. I think they have chance to go for a national championship."
Whitehead said Alabama was his "runnerup" choice. "All of the weight is off my shoulders and now all I have to do is graduate get ready to go play."
"I fell in love with Louisville on my visit there," he said.
One of the nation's fastest rising prospects this year after being injured much of his junior season, the 6-6, 245 Whitehead had offers from dozens of schools before narrowing his choices down to four schools after previously committing early to Clemson and then reopening his recruitment.
A dominating defender from his defensive end position, Whitehead had an amazing senior season on his way to being named All-State. Despite facing constant double teams he finished with 125 tackles, 25 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss.
He noted on Tuesday that the opportunity for early playing time appealed to him at Louisville and noted he felt comfortable there.
"I went with my heart," he added. "It was a hard decision basically. I knew it shocked a lot of people who had me going to Auburn or going to Bama, but I thought Louisville is the best place for me.
"When I went to Louisville, it felt just like home,"he added. "I felt right at home there. I felt like was in Birmingham."
Whitehead added that he was concerned about being so far away from his mother, but added, "I know it is going to be hard for my mama to come up there to see me play, but she supported me and said to do whatever was best for me."