While most would be nervous by such a spotlight, the 6-foot-6, 245-pound defensive end treated the first day of practice just as he has throughout his football playing days.
"What's there to get nervous about - it's a game," said Whitehead, who said he slept like a baby the night before the opening of fall camp. "We're playing the game because we love it, so there's nothing to get butterflies about."
"There's no pressure on me," he later added. "I just look at this as a game. I just have to go out there and focus."
Arriving in Louisville in early June to begin class work and participate in summer workouts was the catalyst for Whitehead to have a solid outing on day one.
"I think that if I didn't come up here right after I graduated that I wouldn't know half these plays," he explained. "I know that it helped me out a lot."
As anticipated, Whitehead performed well on Friday and continues to adjust quickly to the size and speed found at one of college football's top programs.
""I've never played around this much talent in my life," said Whitehead. "The talent is incredible. It's a great place to be. That's why I came here."
"Where I come from I was always the biggest and the fastest," he continued. "So being around a lot of folks that are bigger, or the same size or faster is a whole different world out here."
Spending the majority of his time on Friday working with the second group of linemen, Whitehead see's the opportunity to contribute this fall as a likely possibility.
"I see me backing up Zach (Anderson) right now until I get the program down," he explained. "Then after that, we'll see how it goes."
The former Scout.com five-star prospect described his first day in camp as an experience that he won't soon forget.
"I'm enjoying this. The first day of camp and I got to run with the two's - there's not a better feeling."
Happy with his early performance, Peanut says that he's looking forward to putting the pads on and seeing the competitions that develop at a number of positions on the team.
"Once we're hitting in pads, that's when positions when get lost," he explained. "I'm looking forward to being in pads and seeing what happens."