The Kentucky Wildcats just wrapped up a huge recruiting weekend, and it’s already paying off.
According to 247 Sports’ Ryan Bartow, three-star defensive end Chris Whittaker has committed to UK after being previously committed to Central Florida. Whittaker has already confirmed his intention to pick UK to head coach Mark Stoops.
"When I told coach Stoops in person (at the end of my trip) he jumped out of his seat and was so excited," Whittaker told 247. "He asked me if I wanted to be a Wildcat and I told him yes."
Whittaker, who originally committed to UCF back in September, is listed as the 55th strongside defensive end in the nation and the 148th-best prospect in Florida in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports. He hails from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Florida and is listed at 6-4, 247 pounds.
One of Whittaker’s high school teammates is three-star athlete Joshua Ali, was already committed to UK in this class. This is the 15th pledge Stoops and his staff have landed in 2017. Whittaker was part of the large group of recruits UK hosted this past weekend that helped seal the deal.
"They did a perfect job," Whittaker told 247. "He (Soops) told me exactly what I wanted to hear and how they are going to do it. They have a spot for me if I work for it. I especially like coach (Jimmy) Brumbaugh’s philosophy with what he does with the defensive linemen."
Among Whittaker’s college offers are South Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Cincinnati, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Tennessee, Temple, and N.C. State among others. That kind of offer sheet shows just how big of a get he is for UK.
Here is an excerpt of his scouting report from ESPN:
Whittaker has adequate length and overall size with limited upside to continue growth. Has good power and short area burst. Continued development of his strength will benefit. His high athletic ability gives him upside for quick development.
Quick off the ball and gains ground quickly off the snap. Raw technically, will need to develop bend and hand use to set the edge. Gets off blocks with effort and quickness at this point.
Has short area burst, get off and plays with high effort. Raw in his skills to defeat blocks. Developing moves to defeat blocks as well as bend at the top of the rush will benefit this area.
Whittaker is an athletic and quick edge defender with raw positional skills. Size limitations will put his hand down and working in space as a 43DE.
And here are some highlights of Whittaker in action: