One of UGA’s top remaining targets made the surprising decision to commit to NC State over the Bulldogs and Clemson on late Wednesday night.
Kenderius Whitehead, a defensive end from ML King High School, told the AJC that NC State “has been in my heart.”
“I was looking for the best school for me, as far as playing time and my education,” Whitehead said. “I want to do computer science and NC State is a great school for that degree.”
It was a shocker for Georgia, which had dispatched recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner to ML King earlier in the day on Wednesday for a face-to-face meeting with Whitehead.
“Rodney Garder met with Kenderius for a little bit, and Georgia definitely wanted him,” ML King coach Mike Carson said. “He was a priority for them and said there was no doubt about that. Kenderius was definitely in their plans and Coach Garner said that he hoped they would have the opportunity to continue recruiting him and to persuade him to be a Bulldog.”
UGA was Whitehead’s longtime leader after earning a scholarship offer at Dawg Night prospect camp last summer. However, UGA offered Whitehead at outside linebacker and he was more comfortable playing defensive end, where he was recruited by both NC State and Clemson. The Tigers finished as runner-up to NC State for Whitehead’s services.
“I think that factored into it,” Carson said. “He didn’t like the idea of playing outside linebacker and ‘in space.’ That was his concern with Georgia. In my opinion, he’s definitely a ‘hands-down guy’ [defensive end].”
What happened with UGA? “I grew up around Athens my whole life,” Whitehead said. “I thought about this decision a lot. I just want to see some different places and do different things.”
Did the commitment of Jordan Jenkins affect his consideration of UGA? “No, not at all. No sir. No way. There’s great competition at every school.”
Note: UGA was feeling confident about its chances for Whitehead. It will be very interesting to see who UGA now targets as the backup plan with Whitehead going elsewhere. Predictions? My guess is that UGA throws everything but the kitchen sink at Tucker defensive end Josh Dawson, who is committed to Vanderbilt but took an official visit to UGA last weekend. Dawson has an in-home visit with UGA’s Rodney Garner on Thursday night. Also, Garner made an in-home visit on Wednesday night with WR Blake Tibbs, the ML King WR who remains committed to UGA.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.