Aaron Whittington, a wiry defensive end-linebacker from Hazelwood East, has
verbally committed to attend UCLA on a football scholarship, he said Monday.
Whittington went on a recruiting visit over the weekend and after talking to
his family and his high school coach, Corey Johnson, decided Sunday on the Bruins.
Whittington said it was an easy decision.
"It was a combination of a lot of things," Whittington said. "Academically
it's the best fit for me. It's a great academic school and I'll be able to
gain a lot from my education.
"On the football side, they have some good young players and the coaching
staff has a great vision for the team."
Whittington, 6 feet 3 and 210 pounds, will probably see time at a
rush-defensive end position and play some at linebacker. His greatest asset,
in addition to his speed, is his effort. Whittington has a motor that
doesn't quit and is relentless in pursuit.
Whittington is a two-time, first-team selection on the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch all-metro team and was easily one of the most dominant
defenders in the area. He had 93 tackles and 13 sacks to lead Hazelwood East
to a 9-1 record.
Whittington said he had no reservations attending school so far away since
his brother Kevin lives in nearby Studio City.
Whittington indicated the recent coaching change at UCLA had no effect on
his decision and new head coach Karl Dorrell made a good impression.
"Coach Dorrell is a bright, very intelligent person and has great insight
into the game of football," Whittington said. "I'm excited to play for him."
Whittington made only two other recruiting trips, visits to Illinois and
Kansas in December, and turned down scholarship offers from Minnesota,
Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Mizzou, Michigan State, Kansas and others.
"This is big for Aaron and Hazelwood East," Johnson said. "I think he knew
all along where he wanted to go and we're all happy for him on his
While Whittington is still on the thin side, his mother Odyster Whittington
noticed a similarity between Aaron and his older brother Bernard Whittington
of the Cincinnati Bengals.
The older Whittington is a 6 foot 5, 291 defensive end.
"I was looking at some pictures of Bernard and at the same age and he looks
remarkably like Aaron," Odyster Whittington said. "I supose that means Aaron
has some more growing to do."
Whittington Confirms Commitment
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