Whittington has USC family ties

Last year the recruiting process got off to a slow start for Norco linebacker Jordan Campbell. This year, Norco has another linebacker not many are too familiar with, Damion Whittington (6-2.5, 230). It's not as if he's a complete unknown to college coaches around, but only a handful of schools are corresponding with him at this point

"Right now, I'm hearing from Arizona, Boston College, Miami, Colorado and Notre Dame," Whittington said. "I e-mail them sometimes, but I'm mostly getting letters."

USC, Miami, Texas, Oregon and UCLA are his top schools at this early stage of the recruiting process, and he has family ties with two of those schools.

"My uncle, Sam "Bam" Cunningham went to USC and my uncle, Randall Cunningham, went to UNLV," Whittington said. "I've never met Randall, only my uncle Sam. The last time I saw my Uncle Sam was last Christmas. He (Sam Cunningham) told me make sure my grades are okay, to take the SAT/ACT, and to make sure I run track--and I should be alright."

Three of the five schools he favors stand out ahead of the others and Whittington revealed what he likes about those schools.

"USC, Oregon and probably Texas are my top schools," Whittington said. "I like USC's defense and how everything is set up at each position--and I like the coaches.

"I really like everything about Oregon. I like the type of defense they play, the way they use their linebackers, safeties and everybody else. I also like the uniforms. I haven't talked to the coaches, but they sound pretty cool because Jordan (Campbell) knows them.

"Texas has always been a school I've wanted to go to, like SC. I grew up watching them. It's like a family thing with Texas. In my family, you either like USC or you like Texas."

USC held a meet and greet on Saturday (Feb. 24) and although Whittington didn't attend, he and Campbell, his teammate at Norco and USC 2007 signee, attended the USC/Cal basketball game. Whittington said he had an opportunity to speak to two of the Trojan coaches at the game.

"I talked to Ken Norton Jr., the linebacker coach and the running back coach, Todd McNair," Whittington said. "He (Norton) asked if I was from a junior college of if I was a junior, and he asked for my highlight film and I gave it to him."

In 2006, Whittington had 116 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He described what his best qualities are as a football player.

"Getting to wherever the ball is, hitting somebody and punishing them," Whittington said.

Whittington doesn't have plans to attend any junior-days in the upcoming weeks and months, but he will attend the Scout.com All-American Combine on April 29 at the Home Depot Center.

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