Recruit to watch: DB Donte Whitner

Donte Whitner, 5'11, 180 lbs, out of Cleveland, Ohio's Glenville High School is an elite cornerback prospect who has offers from big time programs from across the country, including USC.

Rated as the #1 cornerback prospect by "The Insiders," Whitner is the complete package. He has the speed and quickness to blanket opposing receivers, and, more than that, he's been known to pack quite a punch when he comes up to make a hit, "I think I tackle well. Not only tackle well, but I can bring a little power with it too," he said. From his safety spot last year, he had 54 tackles and 4 interceptions. He also played some tailback and had 543 yards on just 37 carries.

Although a safety for his Glenville team, Whitner projects as a cornerback at the next level, "Right now I play the safety position because we don't have anybody at my school that can play the position as well as me, but I play corner. I played corner at a lot of the camps that I attended and I think I do very well at corner. It's my natural position."

Whitner's stock really blew through the roof after he attended the Nike Camp at Michigan State. At that camp he ran a 4.43 forty, a 4.22 shuttle, and a 32.8'' vertical jump. It was in the one-on-one's where he really impressed however as he shut down the opposition and came away with camp MVP honors, "It was a great experience for me," he said. "I got to measure my talent and my skills up to a lot of the top players and I feel I measured up well."

Colleges from all over have come calling for Whitner's services and he's currently considering eight schools and all have offered, "Right now, I'm looking at Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, USC, and South Carolina," he said. "I don't really have any leaders out of that group." Whitner plans on taking all five of his official visits and has recently made some plans to trip to a few schools, "I've set up visits with Tennessee, Ohio State, and Michigan. I didn't set the dates for them yet, but I just let them know that I will be taking an official visit to their school. I'll make my other two a little later. I want to go through the whole process."

Among the factors Whitner is looking at in choosing a school are "Tradition, family atmosphere, and just the coaching staff that wants me as a player and a student. I want to major in business management and major in real estate. Distance from home isn't a factor," he said.

With his reputation as a tough, physical defensive back, it's no wonder that the Trojan coaching staff is pursuing Whitner for Pete Carroll's defense. He's interested in USC chiefly for its "rich tradition." "When I talked to them, I talked to almost every coach that was there," he said. "They had a lot of good things to say. They told me a lot about the school and the team. The defensive back that they have, the All American. They told me a lot about him."

In addition to the Nike camp, Whitner has had quite a busy summer attending numerous team camps, "The first half of the summer I attended a lot of camps. A lot of schools," he said. "I went to Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Tennessee. Right now I'm just lifting and running everyday. Getting ready for the season." Whitner is also a stand-out in track and runs the 100m, the 200m, the 4X100m, and the 4X400m and has a best of 10.5 in the 100m and 21.5 in the 200m.

One other note of interest is the fact that one of Whitner's teammates in the Glenville defensive backfield, cornerback Dareus Hiley, is also a top recruit and has been offered by the Trojans. When asked about Hiley's schools of interest, Whitner noted, "I know he's looking at Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State. Those three I know of…and USC is there. He's talked about USC." Despite the fact that he and Hiley are interested in many of the same schools, becoming a package deal has never been discussed, "We haven't really talked about going to the same school," he said. Top Stories