Notebook: Buchholz’s Whittemore a player with many positions

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Buchholz wide receiver Trent Whittemore played at safety, cornerback, wide receiver and even quarterback for the Bobcats. [Lauren Bacho/Staff photographer]

A consensus three-star recruit, Buchholz athlete Trent Whittemore probably is going to be one of the more overlooked prospects in the Florida recruiting class. But his new head coach certainly is high on him.

“He’s an amazing athlete,” UF coach Dan Mullen said Wednesday. “Football, basketball. When he gets to concentrate on one sport. … I don’t think he’s ever lifted a weight in his life. When he gets on that training program, he’s physically going to be a different guy.

“He’s got great size, great athleticism. He played all over the field in football. He’s a phenomenal basketball player.”

Whittemore is a versatile athlete who played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for the Bobcats. The UF coaches haven’t yet decided what position he’ll start out at with the Gators.

“We’ve got to see where he’s going to end up playing for us,” Mullen said. “I have an idea. It’s not fair to label that right now for him. I want to see him go through workouts as he grows and progresses. He’s got a really bright future.”

Weston’s high ceiling

Three-star wide receiver Ja’Markis Weston is one of the lowest rated members of the class. But if you listen to Mullen, he may have the biggest upside.

“I’m a big fan of Ja’Markis Weston,” Mullen said.

Mullen asked what Weston’s ranking is among the recruiting services. When he was told it wasn’t very high, he said, “Not very high? OK, good, we’ll see.”

The Clewiston receiver is 6-foot-3, 212 pounds with excellent speed and hands. But he did not attend any of the big football camps, so the recruiting analysts don’t know much about him.

Mullen does, though.

“He’s a tremendous young man,” Mullen said. “He has great potential, great athleticism, great size. But most important, amazing character and work ethic for a young man. Academically, takes care of his business. How he’s respected in the town of Clewiston, it’s pretty special.

“He’s got a first-class brand. I’m really happy to have him part of the family. He’s got potential to have a pretty special career here at Florida.”

DT needs to be addressed

The Gators only signed one defensive tackle Wednesday, so adding one of two more is a priority between now and national signing day Feb. 6.

The one tackle UF did land is a highly rated one — four-star Jaelin Humphries from Lawrenceville, Ga. He also had offers from Alabama, Georgia and Auburn, but stuck with an earlier commitment to the Gators.

“It’s huge,” Mullen said. “He’s a big, physical guy on the defensive line. That’s a big position that we’re not finished recruiting yet.”

Home-run hitter?

Even though the Gators came up one running back short when five-star Trey Sanders signed with Alabama, Mullen seems pretty excited about the one running back UF did sign — Miami Carol City’s Nay’Quan Wright, a four-star prospect.

“He’s a guy that has a great combination of power and speed, great quickness,” Mullen said of the 5-9, 195-pound Wright. “You’re not going to look at him and say, ‘He’s a big power back.’ But he has the size to play physical.

“He also can make you miss and he has the speed to be a dynamic player in the open field.”

Mullen said Wright also has excellent hands and should be a factor in the passing game coming out of the backfield.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Whittemore “only” a 3-Star? Ye Gads, what is Gator football coming to? Shameful, I tell you — why, I’ll bet you there’s not a single 3* on Georgia’s entire roster! We’re certainly doomed now.

    Unless, of course, you trust Dan Mullen & Company to know what they’re doing. Sounds like he hit a home run to me, and very likely will develop this kid into a major factor. Hmmm…..versatility personified……kind of reminds you of one each, by the numbers……wait for it…..wait for it…..Trey Burton. Welcome aboard, young Gator! In fact, welcome aboard all you new Gators — you are the future — I’m willing to bet that if you pay attention to your coaches, maintain your self discipline, and stay up with your classwork, you’ll see a National Championship return to the Swamp before you leave. GO GATORS! 👍🐊🏈

    • That’s pretty funny, what’s even funnier is UGA without a single 3 star is also without a national title for the last 38 years. Just goes to show how important coaching is. Maybe they should create a preseason National Championship trophy and then maybe Georgia will finally get one.

      • That’s awesome. You’re so right. I think gas was 99 cents, Jimmy Carter was President, and Billy Joel had hair and two hips when Georgia last won a NC. I told a Georgia fan buddy of mine they could probably borrow one of our three NC trophies for a couple of days if they needed see what one felt and looked like.

        • They should have never won that one. Tim groves slipped.
          Probably knocked out the other pursuers in the process. Lindsay Scott was an accidental miracle for Georgia. Other than that I’m tired of hearing about them. I don’t care about them
          Don’t watch them except one game a year.
          Now let’s hope CDM can get the remaining players he needs.

      • Joe that has to hurt than every time we play. They have a slight margin over us but those modern day nc are missing. Six I’d be ok if Mullen showed up with unranked players. Think he’d make something of it. Maybe not nc but it would not be embarrassing. Can’t wait to see these guys in uniform. And while most don’t like the camo I’m not against it. Think it could be used to our advantage.

    • It’s all about scouting and knowing your region and who the recruits are and how they would work in your systems. As for Whittemore, you have to know your recruiting biz to understand that he was only rated a 3* because he didn’t concentrate on just one sport and, and yes, that will hurt your star rating with recruitniks.

      I’ve seen some seriously good OL at Bama over the years that started and ended up in the NFL as first and second round draft picks too. Same with UGA, same with a number of schools. Seen some great football players at UF who were 3*’s too.

      As for Nay-Quan Wright, we actually have a 5* RB in this young man, as he was ranked a 5* before he hurt his knee in his junior year in high school. He had a very good senior year though.

    • So many different opinions on this subject, almost expect a drive by provocation if even mentioned. Personally, I take a broad view of the rating process and see it as an estimate of degree of “elite” potential, with a rather insignificant gradation between 4 and 5*. Regardless, I would submit that whatever the star rating, the coaching development after landing the prospect is the most important piece. That said, I would be the first to say that the only thing worse than over-reliance on or worship of star ratings is ignoring them all together.

      I know this is an unsolicited opinion, but hell, I haven’t had a good beating in a while and it is the holiday season, no time to denigrate sacred cows — so let them begin!

      • Gator-6, it is all based on someone’s opinion based on that players potential at playing in college immediately or maybe taking some developmental time. Potential is the key word here in my opinion and that is all CDM and staff need is potential…LOL. As I stated on one of the other posts today – our future here in the SWAMP is brighter than all of the stars in the night sky! GO GATORS!!!

          • I saw your messages – I have had a pinched nerve in my neck for 3 weeks now and my left arm won’t work right. So I am satying on the comp. as much as I can, but the pain, numbness, and weakness leave me staying off my feet as much as possible. I apologize and I will remember to tell you about Generals Fletcher and Boles…lol. GO GATORS!!!

          • Man, I’m sorry to hear that Ed — that can really put a hitch in your get-along. Besides, most people who haven’t experienced radicular events like you describe don’t have a clue as to how damn disabling — and frustrating — it is. Just remember what your 1SG would have told you: GET UP SLACKER, YOU’RE NOT HURT! And then ignore him….rest is the only way ahead.

            I can wait on the story — God, I love a good story about pissed off general officers almost better than the smell of diesel fumes or wet canvas — but get better first. Here’s to a Merry Christmas nonetheless, Ed.

      • My ole boss was from Williston and he loved to remind me the following:
        You ain’t paid to be pretty
        You ain’t paid to drive a sports car or to look good going through an airport
        You’re paid to be right

        I’m convinced today and years ago as well that CDM is right more than most everybody. I will take my chances with what he says and does. Also when I don’t which I try to minimize. He usually proves me wrong like that linebacker coach I doubted

  2. Well and assuming a kid is a 5 star athlete and talent, he might have a 1 star heart and 1 star brain.The dot.coms can’t judge that. Most coaches can’t , or in Urban’s case, won’t either The kid can’t score a touchdown in jail. I remember when everyone was freaking out when Nu’Keese Richardson played us and signed with Tenn the last minute. He even set up an allegation that we illegally contacted him while on a recruiting trip. I thought some of us would jump off a bridge in Siberia over it. Thank goodness he didn’t come here, and Kiffen ended up being black balled for a while in Pahokee.