December 8, 2010

Whitehead lines up three official visits

MOBILE, Ala. -- Jermaine Whitehead is committed to Mississippi State, and he's spent his week in Mobile actively recruiting for the Bulldogs.

However, the four-star cornerback from Greenwood (Amanda Elzy), Miss., hasn't completely made the transition from recruit to recruiter just yet. Instead, Whitehead has left the door for three schools not based in Starkville.

Whitehead, in Mobile this week preparing for Saturday's Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, said Wednesday "Ole Miss, Auburn and Stanford are hot on my trail. They think they have a great shot, and all of them do. Those are places I really can go. Right now, I'm still committed to Mississippi State, but I haven't closed my door yet."

Whitehead, ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 5 prospect in Mississippi and the No. 20 cornerback nationally, said he take official visits to Mississippi State on Jan. 14 and Ole Miss on Jan. 21. He said he also plans to visit Auburn next month as well. Whitehead visited Stanford during the season, taking in the Cardinal's Pac-10 clash with Southern Cal.

"The West Coast is totally different from out here, but that's not a bad thing," Whitehead said.

Still, most believe that if any school can pull Whitehead away from Mississippi State, it's Ole Miss. From the looks of things in Mobile, the Rebels have a tall hill to climb. Whitehead has spent much of this week hanging out with fellow Mississippi State commitments such as Dee Arrington, C.J. Johnson and Joe Morrow. He's also been talking to Nick Brassell, a Mississippi State commitment who said Tuesday he hasn't yet made a final decision.

"I don't think anybody's really 100 (percent)," Whitehead said. "I'm not 100 percent because it hasn't happened yet. (Brassell) is doing like I'm doing. He's looking (at) places. As far as right now, (Mississippi State) is where I'm going, but I'm looking at different places."

Whitehead, who was in Oxford late last month to watch Mississippi State's Egg Bowl victory over Ole Miss, said he thinks he can play at either school.

"I think the thing is, going to Ole Miss, I want to go in with some guys, some competitors to bring the program back up after them losing a lot last year," Whitehead said. "Mississippi State is on the upcoming. I can come in and do a little part and fit in and play well and hopefully win big."

Whitehead admitted that he's monitoring the recruiting battles for Brassell and four-star wide receiver Tobias Singleton. If those two players announce for the same school (they said Tuesday they plan to make their decisions public at the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio on Jan. 8), that could influence his decision as well. Whitehead said Ole Miss' best shot at landing his signature on Feb. 2 would be to have those two commitments already in the fold.

"If those guys go, I can go," Whitehead said. "There's still a chance I wouldn't go. I just want to look at it and make sure it's the perfect fit also."

Regardless, Whitehead admitted, "it's going to be extremely hard. You've got to tell a coach and people no."

This week, Whitehead is enjoying his final high school football experience, one that he said has whet his appetite for the college game.

"This week is showing me a little bit about how college practices go, and it's fun," Whitehead said. "…We're up-tempo. Everything is boom, boom, bam, bam. It's so much fun, though."

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