Whitehead details WVU visit, talks OSU, Pitt

The Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley 2015 corner talks the Mountaineers, Panthers, and Buckeyes with Scout.com as his winter of visits begins.

Jordan Whitehead is familiar with West Virginia, but it's not just because of Dravon Henry.

Sure, the former Aliquippa (Pa.) standout ended up as a Mountaineer in the class of 2014, and Whitehead knows him well from their days of playing together in youth leagues.

But the connection West Virginia has with the Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley corner runs deeper than that, because when the program's safeties coach and now defensive coordinator, Tony Gibson, swung by Aliquippa, he also stopped at Central Valley.

The relationship he built with Henry landed him. Now,Gibson is trying to do the same with Whitehead, and their relationship grew during the Mountaineers junior day in early February.

"[Gibson] came up every week during the open period and would talk to my coach," Whitehead said. "He would just say do what's best for you, but that he has a spot for me.

"I like that he's a straight up guy and he's a guy that I trust. He doesn't say ‘you will start'; he'll say we have a spot but you have to earn it. I don't want anything handed to me, so I like that he said you got to earn it. He doesn't pressure me, he's just a good guy to us and he just seem straight."

Whitehead was quick to point to the atmosphere at the Mountaineers' basketball game, which the junior day group attended for a 81-71 win over Kansas State, as a plus because it showed the atmosphere West Virginia fans can create. The 5-foot-10, 170 pound corner also made note of the fact that because there are no pro teams in the state, West Virginia football, and athletics, is all that matters. It's an element Whitehead found important.

Of course, the facilities, both the academic and athletic ones, stuck out too. Both combined with his relationship with Gibson, Henry, and Shell have the Mountaineers sitting in fine shape heading toward the spring, though Whitehead was adamant the decision will be his.

"It isn't too far away from home," Whitehead said of WVU. "Dravon Henry just committed there, and [West Virginia running back and former WPIAL standout] Russell Shell and I are close friends. They aren't forcing me to come there or anything, but me and Dra' talk every day.

"He just said you'll be on the other side at the corner from me, and that's how we would stay together. When we were younger, we'd always talk about that. I'm not saying I wouldn't want to play with him, but I have to do what's best for me. [The relationships] do give me some extra motivation with West Virginia, though."

Ohio State and Pittsburgh, along with Penn State, are also heavily involved with the four-star. Buckeye defensive coordinator Luke Fickell invited Whitehead out for a spring practice, while visits to Michigan State, Virginia Tech, and/or Tennessee are possible down the road.

As for the Panthers, Whitehead was among a large crowd of recruits that took in the Panthers' loss to Duke at the end of January. The outcome wasn't important, but a chat with head coach Paul Chryst certainly was.

"I actually went up there, me and my dad, and got there a little early and talked to Coach Chyrst," Whitehead said. "You can just talk to talk with him, and talk to him to him about anything.

"We were talking about my job and my life, and he was just listening and showing interest."


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