Whitmer Finds Niche Quick at South

The summer heading into his sophomore year, Chandler Whitmer and his family moved from Georgia to Downers Grove, Ill. A new school, new people, new neighborhood, new everything.

However, one thing was the same for Chandler Whitmer.

Football was football.

It didn't take the South High coaching staff long to realize they had a gem at quarterback.

"I had to come up here and just keep my mouth shut and earn the respect of the older guys," Whitmer said. He quickly won the starting job during the summer. "That worked out well after they saw I wanted to win as much as they wanted too, and I think they respected me and it was pretty easy to make friends."

South went 9-1 last season, and Whitmer threw for 1,300 yards and 18 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He also added 205 yards rushing and two more scores, as South took the No. 1 seed into the state playoffs. Unfortunately, they were upset in the first round.

"It was a dreadful night," Whitmer stated of the loss to Homewood-Flossmoor. "It was not fun."

After the season, Whitmer attended a few camps and combines, including being one of the ball boys at the Elite 11 Quarterback camp. He also started contacting schools himself, putting himself on the national radar.

As easy as Whitmer made new friends at his new school, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound class-of-2010 signal-caller did the same with college recruiters. Illinois has already offered, and Whitmer is also hearing from places like Arizona, Stanford, Iowa, Northwestern and Notre Dame.

Whitmer camped at Notre Dame during the summer, and he attended last Saturday's home game against Stanford on an unofficial visit.

"It was awesome," Whitmer stated. "I actually got there just as they were finishing up the anthem because I had a team workout and team film session. I walked in as the planes were flying over and I stopped and looked at the people and it was amazing. There is something magical about the campus.

"It was a great game. I liked the way the offense was run by Jimmy Clausen and I think they did a very nice job."

After the game, Whitmer went into the Notre Dame locker room.

"It was awesome. There is so much tradition in that locker room and stuff, so it was a good deal."

Whitmer also caught up with Irish assistant coach Rob Ianello.

"He hadn't seen my junior tape yet, so he was asking me to send that out to him, and they'd take a look at it is as a staff and let me know where I stand after that."

At the one-day camp during the summer, Whitmer worked closely with Irish quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus.

"It was good," Whitmer said. "I got some good individual time. There were probably 10 quarterbacks there. He was a down to earth, real nice guy, and I learned a lot of good stuff."

Stuff that Whitmer is applying to his junior season.

South is 4-2 so far this season. Whitmer has thrown for 827 yards and seven touchdowns. He has added two rushing scores. College recruiters compare him a lot to Jon Budmayr, one of the four quarterbacks Notre Dame offered in the class-of-2009.

"College coaches come in and tell me I remind them a lot of Budmayr on film, with the body type and everything," Whitmer said. "That's not a bad player to play like, so I think it's a pretty good comparison."

Whitmer plans on going to Illinois in two weeks, and also plans to check out Iowa and Northwestern this fall. Whitmer has already booked a return trip to Notre Dame for the Syracuse game.

"Everything about it," Whitmer said of what he likes about Notre Dame. "I like the facilities, the coaches, the academics, the tradition. You can't complain with Notre Dame. It's a nice place."

Whitmer says he'll verbally commit somewhere when he gets the right feeling about a place. He's hoping that time comes at the latest, before the start of his senior season.

"First thing, I'm probably looking at is probably the quarterback situation," Whitmer explained. "I definitely want some real down to earth coaches you can talk to on a regular basis. And then facilities and academics."

Whitmer has a 3.55 GPA.


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