Tashon Whitehurst may have verbally committed to Syracuse this summer, but he’s not done with the recruiting process. The 6′2″, 190 lb. linebacker from Gainesville (FL) has a soft commitment level and is keeping his options open. He has made visits to N.C. State and Marshall and has another few planned. It is worrisome that Tashon is exploring other options because he’s tearing up the gridiron this season and looks like a steal in the recruiting arena.
- Follow The Fizz on Twitter for the latest SU recruiting news
Although he has been visiting other schools, the Orange is still the top choice for Tashon. He has northeast roots, with a father from Syracuse and a mother from Newark. That played a large role for the linebacker in making his decision.
He still has family in those areas, and additionally Whitehurst would be able to play in front of his family and friends in Florida with SU’s impending move to the ACC. “Nasty Joe” Scelfo recently told The Fizz the switch makes Syracuse more desirable as a southern recruit. Having more games down south can’t hurt Syracuse’s chances of holding onto Whitehurst.
Tashon is building off a strong junior season where he registered 124 tackles and eight sacks. Larry Savage, high school sports editor of The Gainesville Sun, tells The Fizz Whitehurst has become the leader of the defense and is raising his game to a different level.
“He is the team leader in tackles and is one of the team captains, along with defensive back Chris Bivins who is committed to USF. He is a very good tackler and is quick enough to run down ball carriers and cover screens out of the back field.”
Tashon plays middle linebacker for Gainesville High, a position he hopes to continue at the collegiate level. He is anchoring an undefeated Hurricane defense which has not allowed a touchdown in 18 consecutive quarters. That is an impressive stat considering the competition Gainesville plays every week.
The one knock on the man in the middle is his size. TW needs to add on some bulk to play the mike linebacker in college. He has good speed and is a very good tackler. He takes proper angles, mirrors well and avoids over pursuing. Some believe he may move to the outside at the next level, but he prefers the inside.
“I like middle linebacker more, because that’s where more of the work is. I like to take charge, be the team captain and tell people what they need to do. If I play outside linebacker, I’m not going to be mad about it. I’m going to master that, too.”
It’s gravy on top that Tashon embraces being a leader. That’s just an intangible that goes unnoticed in the box score, but makes a huge difference on the field.
Doug Marrone and his staff need to make sure Tashon doesn’t slip through their hands and end up playing elsewhere. The Dougie has been mining the Sunshine State for recruits since he took over and needs to continue bringing in play-making talent from those fertile grounds. Whitehurst plans on visiting the Hill again this season and hopefully becomes 100% committed soon after. As of now, the Florida product is still in the Orange’s hands.
Posted: Dave Van Moffaert