Whitaker, Blake Building Relationship

Although it's still early in the recruiting process, Jeffrey Whitaker and North Carolina assistant coach John Blake have already established a solid relationship.

"[Our relationship is] cool – real nice and cool," Whitaker said. "I feel where he's coming from and I think he feels where I'm coming from. Between him and I, if it happens, it happens; if it doesn't, good luck."

Whitaker, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound defensive tackle from Warner Robins (Ga.), says he and Blake speak roughly every other week.

"[We talk about] just life and what I've been up to," Whitaker said. "I know I'm a high target, so we really don't have to go over there every time we talk. It's more or less getting to know each other."

Whitaker has made two recruiting trips, thus far – both occurring last fall. One of those trips was to Chapel Hill to see the UNC-NC State football game.

"At UNC, with Coach [Butch] Davis and Coach Blake, they have to be doing something good up there," Whitaker said. "So I gave it a shot."

The seven-hour trip turned out to be well worth it for Whitaker.

"I didn't know they took football as seriously as they did," Whitaker said. "It's pretty serious up there with football. All you hear is basketball when you say UNC.

"I think the football is outstanding. They're going to put 20,000 more seats [in Kenan Stadium], they have one of the best head coaches, and Coach Blake is good at what he does."

Whitaker also attended the Georgia-Alabama football game in Athens, last September.

Whitaker doesn't believe he'll make any recruiting visits this spring and definitely none early this summer.

For the first five weeks of the summer, Whitaker will focus solely on training. Anything related to recruiting will be ignored – no calls from reporters or college coaches, and no recruiting trips.

"I want to train, train, train - put my body through something, and get down to 290 [pounds]," Whitaker said. "… I'm focusing on toning everything up and getting quicker and getting faster. It's not that I'm losing weight because I'm too big; I'm just losing weight to get my body in the best shape ever."

After the week of July 4, Whitaker will not only pick recruiting back up, but go out-all with campus visits.

"I'm going to be Christopher Columbus – I'm ready to discover a new world," Whitaker said. "I'm going everywhere."

Whitaker hopes to visit as many of his scholarship offering schools as possible. Trips to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Georgia Tech are the most likely.

Currently, 15 schools have extended Whitaker a scholarship offer, including Alabama, Auburn, California, Central Florida, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, UNC, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Whitaker expects to take all five of his official visits and will likely wait until Signing Day to make his collegiate decision.

"I want to enjoy and look around," Whitaker said. "I was thinking about last year right about this time committing early, but I want to take my time. There's no pressure to do it early."

Whitaker is looking for a school with a coaching staff that will serve as his away-from-home parents.

"All the schools that have offered me are good schools," Whitaker said. "So what I'm going to be looking for is somebody that's not just going to be giving me a whole lot of bull – saying this and saying that just to get me there. I want somebody that's going to be there and at the same time somebody that's going to discipline and doesn't care if I'm the best or the worst."

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