Whittington becomes the first back to commit to the Commodores for 2004 and fills an important need, since Vanderbilt did not sign any backs in the class of 2003. The Commodores also lost fullback Brad Anderson to a transfer in the offseason.
Whittington, a powerful 6-foot-2, 235-pounder, helped lead Coach Jim Hightower's St. Thomas More Cougars to a 10-2 record, a second-place finish in Region 5-4A, and a run to the state quarterfinals in 2002.
"We used him at tight end his sophomore year, and he was very good there," said Hightower. "Last year we started him at linebacker but moved him to fullback. He runs about a 4.7. He's a great blocker, very mobile. He also has very soft hands for catching the ball."
Hightower compared Whittington to another player from St. Thomas More, Eraste Autin, a Florida signee who died tragically before ever playing for the Gators. "They're very similar in size and stature."
Whittington chose Vanderbilt over offers from Northwestern and Mississippi State. "David is a serious student and an excellent student, and I'm sure academics was a big part of his decision," said Hightower.
Besides playing on the football team, Whittington is also a powerlifter, as well as a shot-putter and discus thrower for the Cougar track team. He finished third in the 4A Louisiana state meet last spring with a throw of 156 feet.
With only ten scholarships to offer for 2004, Bobby Johnson's staff now appears to be half done for the recruiting class of 2004. Vanderbilt's other commitments for 2004 are Jeff Jennings, a linebacker from Dandridge, Tenn.; Bryant Anderson, receiver from Roswell, Ga.; Hamilton Holliday, offensive lineman from Marietta, Ga.; and Jeremy Gales, a defensive lineman from Columbia, Tenn. Verbal commitments are not binding.