2014 WEEK IN REVIEW: 5TH EDITION
Player Spotlight: Arsenal Tech (Indianapolis, IN) senior defensive tackle Eric Whitehead
Indianapolis (IN) native Eric Whitehead attended Arsenal Tech the first two-and-half years of his high school career before transferring to Lawrence Central, where he finished out his junior year. Whitehead never played a down for Lawrence Central’s varsity football squad, however, as he was declared ineligible. He began his senior year at LCHS with the hopes of being eligible, but that never came to fruition. Fortunately, the 6’1″, 300-pound Whitehead was able to transfer back to Arsenal Tech, where he was immediately eligible to play.
Without Whitehead, Arsenal Tech split its first two games. The Tech-bound defensive tackle started in Arsenal’s third game of this season and dominated, racking up 13 tackles (8 tackles for loss) and one forced fumble in a 68-0 win. This past week, in a 28-6 win over Shortridge, Whitehead had eight tackles with two sacks and an interception.
Virginia Tech targeted Whitehead early, as the Hokies were the first to offer the promising prospect a scholarship. He committed on May 3 and has returned to Blacksburg for several visits since. Whitehead plans to return to Tech to watch the Hokies take on Miami later this month.
TSL: You obviously had a great first game back after transferring back to Arsenal Tech from Lawrence Central. Since you missed the first two games of the season, how excited were you to be on the field?
Eric Whitehead: “It just felt good to be out there. My first game back, I felt like I had to prove a point. I felt like I had to show the world I could still play.”
TSL: Do you have a favorite highlight up to this point in your career?
Eric Whitehead: “Two games ago, I tackled the quarterback and running back at the same time.”
TSL: What do you feel separates you from other defensive tackles out there?
Eric Whitehead: “I really think I work hard. I stay after practice with the coaches, going over everything. I do more than what is expected. That sets me apart.”
TSL: What do you look forward to most about being at Virginia Tech?
Eric Whitehead: “Really, just being in Bud Foster’s D.”
TSL: From a defensive tackle’s standpoint, what do you like most about how you fit in Coach Foster’s defense?
Eric Whitehead: “They run the same stuff I’ve always run. It’s the same to me. Also, some defenses are geared towards specific positions such as linebackers. Coach Foster tells me his defense is for everyone to shine. It fits me well.”
TSL: Besides football, what are some of your other passions?
Eric Whitehead: “I like other stuff besides football, like drawing. I’m in an Architecture Design program at my school. I also like basketball and other stuff.”
TSL: Was Architecture another factor in your decision to choose Virginia Tech?
Eric Whitehead: “Yes it was.”
TSL: Tech is also pursuing a teammate of yours at Arsenal, (senior defensive back) Adonis Williamson. Do you think you will be teammates on the college level?
Eric Whitehead: “I thought he was going to commit [to Virginia Tech] the last time we were down there, but he never made the move. He is down to Virginia Tech and other schools, but he really doesn’t mention any other school.”
TSL: Any all-time favorite players or current players you like to follow?
Eric Whitehead: “Right now, I like Ndamakong Suh a lot. I like Nick Fairley. I really like the Lions defensive line.”
TSL: You obviously still have your college career ahead, but how much do you think about making it to the NFL? Once your playing days are done, what do you hope to be doing?
Eric Whitehead: “Everyone’s dream is to make it as far as possible. If I don’t make it, I hope to have my business set up. I want to design homes.”
Now, here is how the rest of Virginia Tech’s commitments performed on the gridiron last week…
– Adonis Alexander, S, Independence (Charlotte, N.C.)
After surrendering points for the first time this season in a 27-17 win over Hough the previous week, Independence’s defense recorded another shutout in last week’s 38-0 win over East Mecklenburg. The Patriots (6-0) have five shutouts in six games.
Next: Home versus Porter Ridge on Thursday, October 2
– Jahque Alleyne, DB/WR, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA)
Ocean Lakes rolled to an 56-12 win over the Bayside Marlins last week, improving to 4-0 on the year. The Dolphins are ranked no. 23 nationally by USA Today.
Next: Away versus Kempsville on Thursday, October 2.
– Mike Arnold, OL, Winter Haven (FL)
Winter Haven downed Kathleen, 33-3, to move to 4-1.
Next: Home versus Lake Gibson on Friday, October 3
– Chris Cunningham, TE/DE, Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville, FL)
First Coast handed Atlantic Coast its second loss of 2014, defeating the Stingrays 54-17. ACHS is 3-2. Cunningham still has two touchdown receptions on the season.
Next: Home versus Fletcher on Friday, October 3
– Damien Dozier, DE/OLB, Knightdale (Raleigh, N.C.)
The Knights (2-3) fell to West Johnston, 30-14.
Next: Away versus Clayton on Friday, October 3
– Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Dan River (Ringgold, VA)
Edmunds had 55 total yards (28 rushing, 27 receiving) and 7 tackles — including three tackles for loss and one sack — as Dan River captured a 34-0 win over Nelson County. Edmunds has 49 total tackles with 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in five games for the Wildcats (3-2), who take on rival Chatham next.
Next: Home versus Chatham on Friday, October 3
– Darius Fullwood, DE, Good Counsel (Olney, MD)
Good Counsel’s defense held Gonzaga in check last Saturday, leading the Falcons to a 17-7 victory in a key WCAC matchup. Fullwood and the Good Counsel “D” has allowed only 20 points total in four wins. The Falcons are 4-1.
Next: Home versus DeMatha on Friday, October 3
– Trevon Hill, DE, Salem (Virginia Beach, VA)
Salem is 5-0 after escaping with a 20-17 win over previously unbeaten Cox.
Next: Home versus First Colonial on Thursday, October 2
– DuWayne Johnson, CB, H.D. Woodson (Washington, D.C.)
H.D. Woodson responded to its season opening loss with four straight wins. The Warriors latest victory came last Friday, when they defeated Wilson, 42-23. Click here to watch an interview with DuWayne and his father, Wayne.
Next: Away versus Coolidge on Friday, October 3
– Fredrick Johnson, OL, Royal Palm Beach (FL)
Royal Palm Beach destroyed Lake Worth, 49-6, to move to 4-0 on the season. Johnson, a 6’7″, 300-pound senior, committed to the Hokies several days later.
Next: Away versus Dwyer on Friday, October 3
– Harry Lewis, DT, Phoebus (Hampton, VA)
Phoebus took down arch-rival Hampton, 19-8, to move to 4-1.
Next: Away versus Menchville on Saturday, October 4
– Carson Lydon, LB, East Lake (Tarpon Springs, FL)
East Lake remained undefeated with a 24-14 win over Tarpon Springs. Lydon and company are 5-0.
Next: Away versus Seminole on Friday, October 3
– Deshawn McClease, RB, Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA)
Oscar Smith overcame a slow start to dispatch Lakeland, 48-7. The Tigers are 3-1. McClease, who entered the Lakeland game with five touchdowns, had 180 yards rushing and a score in the win.
Next: Home versus Deep Creek on Friday, October 3
– Mook Reynolds, CB, Northern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.)
Reynolds had a 35-yard touchdown reception as the Nighthawks held off Western Alamance, 35-21. Reynolds, who had a 55-yard touchdown catch the previous week, has helped Northern Guilford to a 5-0 record in 2014.
Next: Away versus Eastern Alamance on Friday, October 3
VT CLASS OF 2016
– Logan Byrd, QB, Veterans (Kathleen, GA)
Veterans (0-4) had a bye last week.
Next: Home versus Baldwin on Friday, October 3
– Conner ODonnell, WR, Concord First Assembly (N.C.)
Concord First Assembly lost to Hickory Grove, 40-30, dropping to 1-5 on the season. O’Donnell’s stats are amazing. Through six games, the Tech-bound junior has racked up 53 catches for 1,040 yards and six touchdowns. He has had three straight games of double-digit receptions, including 10 receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Hickory Grove.
Next: Home versus Trinity Christian on Friday, October 10