A Star From The Get Go

In the words of Madisonville (Texas) High head coach Greg Morgan, Chris Whaley was a head taller and a lot faster than everyone on the field. He routinely ran for close to 300 yards and four or five touchdowns per game in junior high.

Seventh grade was Chris Whaley's first time playing organized football, and not much has changed for him on the next level.

One of the best running backs in the country in the class of 2009, Whaley is the first player in Greg Morgan's eight years as coach to play varsity as a freshman. Since then, the yards and touchdowns have piled up.

So have the accolades and scholarship offers.

"He's pretty special," Morgan said. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Whaley has already been offered by Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Nebraska. When you have a kid with that size and that speed (4.45 in the 40-yard dash), they're a once and a lifetime kid to coach at the high school level. We're real proud of him and he's a special, special player."

Notre Dame assistant coach Michael Haywood has already been by the school to check out Whaley and grab some film, and according to Morgan, is expected back again on Wednesday.

"I've gotten some letters from them," Whaley said. Having rushed for over 2,000 yards the past two seasons, Whaley is also receiving interest from USC, Florida, Michigan and several other programs. "I don't know much about them. My coach told me they're a good school."

Morgan wanted to bring Whaley along slow his freshman season, but he was too talented to begin prep play on the junior varsity.

"We used him in a limited role, backing up a senior tailback," Morgan began. "He got some play here and there. We didn't want to throw him in there too soon, I found it makes kids gun shy or ruins kids the other way by getting too much exposure early. But as his freshman year went on, we lost two kids to injury and we had to make the move with our senior running back to a fulltime defensive back, and Chris took over. And the rest as they say is history."

Whaley ran for roughly 900 yards that fall. As a sophomore, he rushed for 2,130 yards and scored 27 touchdowns, earning second team all-state honors. The college interest started picking up then. This past year, Whaley was first-team all-state, gaining 2,119 yards and scoring 28 touchdowns.

Texas A&M was the first to offer on Sept. 1.

"I came home and saw that offer," Whaley stated.

"I haven't made my choice yet. Everything is open right now. I kind of see myself staying in state, but I really don't know right now."

Texas head coach Mack Brown is definitely hoping Whaley sticks around the Lone Star State.

"Texas has been by a lot," Whaley said. "It's been great. I've met Mack Brown a couple times. He seems like a real nice person."

Whaley has camped at Texas, went to a game there this season, and the only junior day he has currently set up is a trip to Austin. He also attended two Texas A&M games this past fall.

Whaley reported a bench press of 275 pounds, a squat of 380, and a 3.0 GPA.

"I might take all my (official) visits," Whaley said. "Rolling around into next football season, I might make my decision then. I just want to go to school and play. I want to go somewhere where I'm going to play."

That has never been a problem for Whaley since the first time he put the pads on in seventh grade.

This story was originally published on IrishEyes.com, the Notre Dame site on the Network.


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