Texas running back Devwah Whaley is on his way to UGA for his official visit. It will be the 4-star’s first official, and he plans to take no more than four.
Whaley’s Beaumont Central team has an open date this week. It will allow him to arrive early on Friday and soak it all up: The academics, the atmosphere and the entire Saturday experience for a big SEC game in Athens.
“I wanted Georgia to be my first official but not because it was the furthest trip, but because on my previous trip (for Dawg Night) I didn’t get to see everything,” he said. “I want to come back and see everything and get another really good feel for it.”
Whaley still plans to make his public commitment on Jan. 2 at the Under Armour All-American game, but there’s a wrinkle to that timeline.
“I am going to be a silent commit,” Whaley said. “Not now as of yet. … I am just going to take my officials and just go from there.”
UGA has already received a commitment at RB from 4-star Elijah Holyfield at his position, but that hasn’t swayed Whaley. He’s actually rated just a tick higher by recruiting analysts. UGA running backs coach Thomas Brown even visited him last Friday in Texas.
It made an impression. UGA was on the road in Nashville the next day for its SEC opener and his potential position coach paid him a visit. Whaley said Brown reiterated the same message that he shared with the AJC’s Dawgnation.com in early August.
“They only planned on taking one back but they are going to go ahead (and take two running backs) if I want to commit they will take take two (in this class) with me,” Whaley said. “He said they want me that bad. He said I would be the only running back they would do that for.”
That level of honesty makes an impact. Whaley felt the only recruiting relationship he has that mirrors the connection with Brown would be with Oklahoma running backs coach Jay Boulware.
The senior said he has a pretty good relationship with Holyfield.
“He’s pretty much the only commitment at Georgia I talk to,” Whaley said. “Elijah mentioned we could be another Nick Chubb and Sony Michel the other day,” Whaley said. “I guess I’d probably be Chubb and he would be Sony.”
That’s because Whaley is right at six feet in height and 208 pounds. He said that’s the same message he hears when he talks to UGA coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
“They tell me they really need me,” he said. “I just spoke to the both of them the other day. They say they want me and Elijah to also come in and be the next (Nick) Chubb and Sony (Michel) in the offense.”
Whaley can see himself making that silent commitment in December a month in advance of the Under Armour game. He’s certain he will take at least two other official visits. He will be at Texas A&M for the Auburn game on Nov. 7. His final official will be to Oklahoma for the TCU game on Nov. 21.
“Maybe Arkansas might creep in for a fourth official,” Whaley said. “But that would be it after that.”
He said UGA and Oklahoma were still the two schools that continue to recruit him the hardest, with Texas A&M making a strong late kick to keep him in-state.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.