After five years of living in Texas I finally made it to my first high school football game last Friday night. As luck would have it the game allowed an early glimpse of a future Husker (perhaps, maybe, we’ll see how things shake-out). Anyway, as I was saying I attended the Baytown Robert E. Lee homecoming battle against Port Arthur Memorial H.S. Port Arthur’s star player just happens to be one David Whitmore who is currently committed to the Huskers.
So how did I find myself at said contest? Well, my lovely fiance is a proud Baytown Lee Gander (seriously their nickname is the Ganders), as is pretty much her entire family. Kind of like my family full of Rockets from Lincoln Northeast. But I digress…
Now onto the scouting:
From what I could see Whitmore has a lot of developing to do before he contributes in any meaningful manner. He is SKINNY and that means a lot coming from me. That’s sort of like Mark Mangino calling someone fat, if you catch my meaning. Whitmore’s legs look like they should be holding up popsicles rather than a future DI football player. He does, however, have plenty of height which will certainly come in handy amongst the 6-4 receivers that now dot the Big 12 landscape.
Whitmore wasn’t thrown at much on Friday. It was difficult to tell if this was by design becuase Baytown’s QB play was spotty at best. Two plays do standout though.
On the first, Whitmore was beaten on a hitch move. This obviously caused an automatic cringe from Jeffie Husker, given Nebraska’s recent struggles with this route. What I liked, however, was Whitmore’s ability to close on the reciever while the ball was in the air. In fact after making up a large cushion, Whitmore actually put himself in position to intercept the pass on a perfectly timed turn to look back at the ball. Unfortunately, the refs called pass interference on Whitmore for using his hands to gain the advantage while in the air. I thought it was a terrible call based on what the official thought was going to happen, rather than the way Whitmore pulled it off.
On the second play Whitmore had to defend a bubble screen type pass thrown to his side. Despite showing initial hesitancy, Whitmore fended off a block from another receiver and made a pretty nice open field tackle. In fact, Whitmore made in my mind a prototypical CB tackle by simply getting low enough to take out the reciever’s legs (or pins – for you Jim Rose fans). That play occurred right in front of me, and I couldn’t help but give him a one-man standing ovation. Had it occurred at Memorial Stadium I would have been joined by 85,000 fans as it was clearly a better tackle than any of us have seen this season.
One thing that surprised me, however, was I didn’t see Whitmore take even one snap on offense. I know Texas football is different than Nebraska high school football, but the fact that he doesn’t crack the offensive starting lineup seems a bit worrisome to me. Overall, I’d say Whitmore has a lot of athleticism and good potential. He showed me plenty of speed and good hips (not the Eva Mendes type), meaning he is already less stiff than Andre Jones. In addition, I came away extremely expressed with his ability to close on receivers and make a play on the ball in the air. You just can’t teach those skills.
So we’ll see now if Whitmore winds up in Lincoln and if so, how well my attempt at a scouting report pans out.