Florida pass rusher high on Notre Dame

Florida defensive end Chris Whittaker released his top three to Irish Illustrated and the Chaminade Madonna College Prep standout explains his visit schedule and fast-approaching decision timeline.

There is plenty at stake for Notre Dame in recruiting this month.

Two Scout 300 prospects, offensive tackle Robert Hainsey and athlete C.J. Holmes, are expected to announce for the Irish this week during The Opening.

The nation’s No. 8 offensive guard, Darnell Ewell, is an Irish Illustrated projection to choose Notre Dame on July 15. Louisiana wide receiver Michael Young could announce for the Irish over Oregon by month’s end.

Also with good potential to announce for Notre Dame before August is Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna College Prep defensive end Chris Whittaker.

A visit to Notre Dame is in the works for the 6-foot-3 ½, 250-pound athlete. Whittaker could make the trip to South Bend alone or with one of his coaches.

“I am planning to visit at the end of July, but I think it’s going to be by July 22nd,” Whittaker said. “That is the date we are looking at.”

Whittaker told Irish Illustrated on Sunday that Kentucky, Notre Dame and South Carolina make up his top three.

Whittaker, who plans to pursue a major in the medical field, is drawn to Notre Dame’s academic reputation.

“Really the main thing about Notre Dame is the education,” Whittaker said. “ND has an excellent education program. It’s about more than football with Notre Dame. You’ll have a lot more to do in your life when football is over.”

While Whittaker is sold on Notre Dame’s academic pitch, he wants to learn more about its defensive scheme.

“Mostly the defense they run and how I would fit specifically,” Whittaker said. “That’s going to be the first question I have up there.”

Irish assistant and Florida native Autry Denson is heading Whittaker’s recruitment for the Irish.

“I only talk to Autry Denson at ND,” Whittaker said. “All Autry.”

Whittaker visited South Carolina in June and could visit Kentucky in August, if he hasn’t already announced a commitment.

“Hopefully I’ll have a decision but I’m not trying to rush the process,” Whittaker said.
“Definitely I’ll be looking at the coaching. Those relationships are the most important.”

Whittaker’s upside, motor, and physical makeup have earned him more than 20 offers, including Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse and Tennessee.

“My quickness off the ball is my biggest strength,” Whittaker said. “My first step and then I make a quick move and try to get around the tackle and get to quarterback.”



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