Whitley On UCLA and Alabama

The nation's #6-ranked inside linebacker, Zach Whitley from Texas, talked about his UCLA visit and going to Alabama this weekend...

This week has gone well so far for Galena Park (Tex.) North Shore linebacker Zach Whitley. Wednesday he was honored by the Houston Touchdown Club as the Defensive Player of the Year. And this weekend, he will make the trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to check out the program he committed to before the start of his senior season. 

"It feels great (about the award). I am representing my teammates back at home and I would not be here without them," Whitely said. "This weekend I'm going to take my Alabama trip and see how it goes."

The 6-foot-2, 228-pound Whitley led his team in tackles with over 140 stops and was a key member of a team that went on a deep playoff run. And though these numbers look quite impressive (they are), Whitley felt like he improved throughout the season. 

And the plan is to take that momentum on to college.

"Honestly, I feel like the season went great and my team got better each game. I got better mentally and physically, but mostly mentally," Whitley said. "You know coming into the season, we weren't focused as much on the little things. And that is what made us a better team. It made me a better person as well. And even though we lost, I feel like the (underclassmen) guys will come back even harder. The seniors will go off to college and take that next step."

For Whitley, that next step will could likely place him in the SEC, playing for the perennial power Alabama. This weekend is the Alabama official trip, but for Whitley it will not be the first official visit. A couple of weeks ago he went out west to check out the Pac-12.

He had this to report.

"I went to UCLA already and I'm going to Alabama this weekend. UCLA was a good trip and I had a lot of fun," Whitley said. "I met a lot of coaches and they showed me a good time. I felt comfortable there. The interest from UCLA really came out of nowhere. I wanted to take one of my visits and go see a school outside of Alabama and colleges in Texas."

From the sounds of things, Whitley, who is an early enrollee, will go to Alabama with an open mind. He said that he is not looking for anything in particular, but simply wants to get a better, closer look at the program.

Ahmard Vital is responsible for Midlands Recruiting, mainly covering prospects in the state of Texas. He joined Scout.com in 2005 and is the author of the newly released book, Awaken the Baller Within.
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