Scout Ranking: ***
Scout Rank: No. 45 DE
Size: 6-4, 220 pounds
Hometown: Lithonia, GA
School: King High School
Stats: Whitehead recorded 103 tackles and 16 sacks as a senior.
Accolades: 4-star prospect and No. 29 player in Georgia by ESPN...selected to Semper Fidelis All-Star game...named first team all-state...No. 13 player in Georgia by MaxPreps...No. 13 outside linebacker in the nation by Tom Lemming
Commit Date: January 18, 2012
Recruiting Scene: Expectations weren't very high when Whitehead made an official visit to Raleigh with teammate Jarnor Jones back in November. The overall sentiment was that Whitehead quite likely made the trip just to hang out with his close friend.
However, and perhaps unexpectedly, Whitehead connected with head coach Tom O'Brien and fell in love with NC State. Although reports had Georgia and Clemson as the favorite, it was the Wolfpack who quietly emerged as the leader.
The first clear sign that the Pack was a serious player was when Whitehead made a return visit to Raleigh with his mother. Even so, he followed through with a prior decision to make an official visit to Clemson. Afterwards, reports surfaced yet again listing Clemson as the favorite but Whitehead put those rumors to rest when he tweeted his decision to commit to NC State- shocking many observers in both South Carolina and Georgia.
Despite heavy pressure from Georgia in particular, Whitehead remained firm in his commitment to the Pack.
Why NC State? "NC State was in my heart. I went down there for two visits, and I came back feeling like that was the place for me.
"I wanted to take one more visit to be sure, and that's why I went to Clemson. I had a good time on that trip, they laid out the red carpet for me, but I knew it wasn't for me."
Picked NC State Over: Georgia and Clemson....Whitehead boasted better than two dozen scholarship offers.
Scouting Report: "Whitehead is a long and lean defensive end, so he will need to bulk up, add upper-body strength, and continue to build muscle onto his frame. He is a weakside end, more of a rush end, and he is best when the ball goes away from his side. He is great in pursuit, but still struggles when the ball is ran right at him. As he gets bigger, he should improve in that area. He needs to work on disengaging and not letting offensive linemen get their hands locked in on him.
"If he is free, he can be a terror. He comes off the edge with nice pad level, he dips his shoulder nicely to get around the edge, and he really closes on the quarterback well.
"You have to like the energy and fire Whitehead plays with also. He really plays with emotion, his teammates on the high school level fed off that, and he will take that to the next level.
"Overall, he is a pass rush end right now and he really needs to develop physically. He will likely be used in the seven and possibly nine technique early, but his range and quickness to the quarterback could get him on the field early in passing situations." – Scout.com analyst Chad Simmons
Here are highlights of Whitehead in action from his junior season at Monroe Area (GA) High School, and Whitehead is wearing #80. Further below you will find senior highlights from the 2011 season.
2011 Senior Year Highlights (Hudl.com): Kenderius Whitehead 2011 Highlights