Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Whitaker looks the part of major college prospect
FAYETTEVILLE Marion defensive end Cortez Whitaker has the physical tools to play on the college level, but is shy on experience.
Whitaker, 6-4, 250, 4.8 seconds in the 40 yard dash, played at West Memphis Christian as a sophomore and played basketball at Marion this past season. He was one of the best looking prospects who attended Arkansas’ Elite Camp on Thursday. Sophomore highlights CLICK HERE
“He's got an explosive first step,” Marion Coach Jed Davis said in an earlier interview. “He's the prototypical guy colleges are looking for a defensive end.”
Whitaker is preparing for his second year of football.
“Working on technique, being a little faster, getting bigger,” Whitaker said. “Get better at what I’m doing.”
Razorback tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. visited the school during the spring to check on Whitaker, who worked at defensive end and receiver. He sees basketball helping his football skills.
“I can move my feet and guard anybody on the floor,” Whitaker said. “Quick footwork, jumping ability, being able to move and slide.”
Whitaker attended his first college camp at Delta State before making it to Arkansas.
“He's tall and he’s got the broad shoulders, narrowed waist and he could easily put on 20-30 pounds and not lose a step,” Davis said.
Whitaker, who’s also drawing interest from Ole Miss and Arkansas State, will be a project at the next level, but with time might has a chance to be a special player.
“He’s not someone that will go in and start immediately,” Davis said. “As he gets another year or two of coaching and someone teaches him technique, he could really be good.”