Donte Whitner S 5'11 205 Ohio St. Jr.
By: Robert Davis
Whitner was one of the elite recruits in the country three years ago out of high school. He was recruited as a corner, but got on the field earlier at safety and has not given up the spot since taking over. As a sophomore, despite being slowed by a knee injury, he totaled 69 tackles, four of them coming for a loss. This past season he was one of three Ohio St. defensive backs to earn 1st Team All Big 10, after finishing with career highs of 73 tackles, nine for loss, four sacks, and two interceptions.
Donte Whitner is a talented safety prospect. He is a good athlete, has good speed, but his best attribute is his physicality. He flies around the field looking to tackle someone, and will not let anyone get in his way. He is very aggressive in the secondary. Whitner will hit you in the mouth, and wraps up to finish the play. He also has very good cover ability. Whitner has played strong safety, but may project better at free. He may even get a look as a corner for some teams, but is a work in progress there as he has no experience there.
As a strong safety, Whitner is undersized. Thats why he may move over to free safety. He has all the talent to match up in single coverage, but at times gets turned around because he is not used to being locked up man to man. If he stays at strong, he will have problems covering tight ends because of his lack of size.
Whitner is an interesting prospect. He is an excellent safety, and could have an immediate impact at that position. But, he may also have the talent to project as a cornerback for some teams, but he will need a lot of work to make that move. I believe he projects best at free safety, but will be a standout at either safety spot. This is a deep safety class, but Whitner is as good as any of them. He has an outside shot at landing in the Top 50 despite all the talent in this safety class.
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