Florida LB Whitehurst Sets Rutgers Official

Gainesville (Fla.) linebacker Tashon Whitehurst is open about his verbal commitment to Syracuse being a "soft verbal." The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Class of 2012 recruit plans to take at least two official visits and is looking at six schools. Whitehurst discussed his interest level in Rutgers, where he plans to officially visit the weekend of Dec. 2.

Gainesville (Fla.) linebacker Tashon Whitehurst verbally committed to Syracuse in early July, but told Scout.com in September he planned to look elsewhere while committed to the Orange.

After Whitehurst made his intentions public, Rutgers came into the picture and offered the two-star linebacker a scholarship in October.

Though initially uninterested, Whitehurst now plans to take an official visit to Rutgers Dec. 2 and name the school as one of three "standing out" outside of Syracuse.

"At first, my interest level was pretty low when they told me I had a scholarship there," Whitehurst said. "I don't really know much about them."

In the month since receiving his offer from Rutgers, however, Whitehurst's interest level rose as he spent more time speaking with the Rutgers coaching staff.

"I want to take an official because of my relationship with the coaching staff," he said. "I like all of them, but I need to learn more about them."

Whitehurst said his two main recruiting interests are coaching and finding a winning program. Rutgers fits both, he said.

"I want to be on a winning team," he said. "I've been watching them a lot on TV. They can win the Big East. … I saw them beat Syracuse and Cincinnati."

Whitehurst said that he will reschedule his official visit to Rutgers if his team is still in the playoffs. He plans to officially visit Syracuse the weekend of Dec. 9 and expects his decision to go late into January.

"It could maybe be before Signing Day or maybe on Signing Day," he said. "I'm too focused on my season now to think about it."

Whitehurst named a top six of Syracuse, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Marshall and South Florida. He has no leader, but said Rutgers, Cincinnati and Marshall stand out alongside his soft verbal commitment to Syracuse.

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