US Army Update: Zach Whitley

SAN ANTONIO -- An update on Galena Park (Texas) North Shore linebacker Zach Whitley from Tuesday's US Army All-American Bowl practice...

For Galena Park (Texas) North Shore linebacker Zach Whitley, the opportunity to play in one final high school game has been a blessing.

"It is a true honor and blessing. Not a lot of people get this opportunity and I'm just thankful that I got to be here and that I'm representing my family and my team back home," said Whitley after Tuesday's morning practice.

Whitley, who is playing for the West, graduated last week and will enroll early. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder is committed to Alabama, but he hasn't signed with the Crimson Tide just yet.

"I am verbally committed there, I just haven't signed yet," he said.

With the days counting down and no ink on paper, UCLA has continued to recruit the athlete.

"UCLA has been talking to me about coming there. I like the coaches there and I like the program they have, but I am still committed to Alabama," he said.

Making things more interesting is that Whitley's teammate and good friend Najee Toran is an offensive line commit for the Bruins, another early enrollee.

"He's like a brother to me. He doesn't pressure me. He's said 'man, it's what you want to do. I want you to come with me, but at the end of the day it's your decision.' I thank him for that," he said.

While the date may not be set, Whitley does know he will talk with his family about the process.

"I promised my dad I would sit down with him and make my decision," he said.

For now, he's just enjoying the opportunity to compete alongside some of the country's best talent and says "everybody" has been impressive.

"It's been physical, fun, and I have just been learning a lot. It's been good playing with guys from other states. I'm used to people shorter than me, and everyone is almost as big or bigger than me. Everyone is competing with the best and it has been really fun," he said.

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