Gainesville (Fla.) linebacker Tashon Whitehurst had gathered eight offers, and with each offer he researched his future possibilities. After in-depth research, and a lot of phone conversations, he has come to the conclusion that he will play for a Big East program.
"I committed to Syracuse," Whitehurst said. "I was doing a lot of research on Syracuse ever since they offered me and I had been talking with the coaches, calling them and staying in contact, and I feel like I have a really good relationship with the coaches now. I just feel really comfortable with going to Syracuse."
Whitehurst chose the Orange over offers from Iowa State, Liberty, Marshall, Massachusetts, North Carolina Central, North Carolina State, and Western Michigan. He informed Doug Marrone's staff earlier today.
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"I told Coach (Jimmy) Brumbaugh," Whitehurst said. "He was kind of shocked. I also talked to Coach (Dan) Conley, the linebackers coach. All of them were shocked and excited. They never thought I would really commit to Syracuse."
The Sunshine State prospect pledged his services without even having seen the campus. He plans to visit Syracuse in August but said he is already firm in his decision.
"I am real confident about Syracuse," Whitehurst said. "It is a place that has a great environment and where I know I can have a shot to play at. I want to make an impact as soon as I can and I feel I have a good chance to do that there. I thought Syracuse would be the perfect spot for me to do that there."
His chances of seeing the field early on are increased by the versatility that Syracuse sees in his game.
"They are going to line me up at middle and outside (linebacker)," Whitehurst said. "They said with my athletic ability that I can play any position on the field, but at linebacker I can definitely play at both."
As a junior, Whitehurst had 99 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles.