Paul Johnson received his fifth commitment of the 2018 recruiting cycle early on Thursday afternoon when three-star prospect Tijai Whatley announced his intentions to play out his football career at Georgia Tech. Whatley become the second big commitment in two days for Tech after four-star defensive tackle TK Chimedza made his announcement yesterday.
Blessed to be a Jacket pic.twitter.com/vxEGaBPqh9— Tijai Whatley (@LamarTijai) June 22, 2017
Listed as an athlete by most recruiting services, Whatley is a top-75 player in the state of Georgia and own a 0.8538 247Sports composite ranking — good for third among current Tech commits behind Chimedza and safety Charlie Thomas. He chose Tech over reported offers from Boston College, North Carolina, Kansas, Wake Forest, and others.
A product of Rome, GA, Whatley measures in at 6-feet and 188 pounds. That gives him near-prototypical size for an A-Back in Paul Johnson’s offensive system, his likely position once he arrives at Tech. Whatley’s film makes it abundantly clear why he’s listed as an athlete — the guy did everything in high school:
Whatley took snaps as a wildcat quarterback, lined up on the outside as a receiver, caught passes out of the backfield, made a couple of throws on fake running plays, and operated just as an A-Back would by taking pitches as a running back. That’s the exact type of versatility that Paul Johnson and the coaching staff cherish in a young player and could lead Tijai Whatley all over the field during his four years at Tech. There’s a lot to like about someone who can do a little bit of everything, especially as a runner and a receiver. We’ve seen that plenty of times over the past few years with versatile guys like Clinton Lynch and Qua Searcy emerging as key cogs in the Tech offense.
Congratulations to Tijai on his commitment!