Whitley, a 6-foot 185-pounder, is athletically sound, but it's his football intelligence that has allowed him to excel.
"He's very, very smart; he makes all of our checks on defense," said Whitley. "He's got all the athletic tools that one would need to play safety or corner, but also has the smarts about him to not only make the checks and put not only himself in the right position to make plays, but make sure his teammates are in the right position to make plays. He's definitely a general out there in the secondary."
Whitley's athletic and mental makeup has grabbed the attention of local and national colleges, resulting in scholarship offers from Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, and Virginia, while also receiving heavy interest from Ohio State, Oregon, N.C. State, and Virginia Tech.
When the Tar Heels' coaching staff dropped by Butler a few weeks back to validate the scholarship offers of Robert Blanton and Spencer Adams, they extended Whitley an offer as well.
"They came down about two weeks ago, Coach [Tommy] Thigpen came down and told me they are going to offer me and invited me to their Junior Day," said Whitley. "He said they really like me [and] they want me to come up to their one-day camp again."
Whitley will accept UNC's invitation to both the Junior Day on March 4th and the one-day camp over the summer. He also plans to attend Junior Days at Virginia (on February 24th) and Virginia Tech, and has already registered for the Hokies' summer camp on June 9th.
Heading into a six-month span of campus visits, Whitley is currently favoring three schools.
"Virginia Tech is looking real good; [N.C.] State, they're looking real good too, with the new program, new coaches coming him, Mike Reed and all that; And [I like North] Carolina with their new recruiting class coming in, they're pretty impressive," said Whitley. "Virginia Tech, has a great reputation with their DBs. Carolina, they're close to home and are my childhood favorite growing up, and N.C. State, a lot of family members went there and I like the atmosphere up there."
However, Whitley, who said he will hold academics highly as a factor in his decision, is months away from making a verbal commitment.
"I'm not trying to make a decision any time soon," said Whitley. "Right now, I'm just going to go around to colleges, take some visits, and go from there."
According to Newsome, Whitley has the ability to play any position in the secondary at the college level. However, he is getting the most looks at cornerback.
"[The UNC coaches] are looking at me at corner – most schools are looking at me at corner," said Whitley. "Virginia Tech is looking at me for free safety, but most schools are looking at me for corner."
From his safety position, Whitley collected 105 tackles, six interceptions, and deflected 12 passes during his junior season.