The Charlie Strong era is underway in the Texas Longhorns recruiting office. Just two days after his official introduction as head coach, the former Louisville Cardinals leader secured a commitment from coveted junior college tight end Blake Whiteley, according to 247Sports reporter Jeff Howe.
Texas rose to the top of his list, ultimately edging out Arkansas. Whiteley also holds offers from Virginia, Purdue, TCU and West Virginia.
The 6'5", 240-pound pass target competed at Arizona Western College in 2013. He played high school football in West Vancouver, Canada.
Whiteley received an offer from Texas in early December when Mack Brown remained at the helm of a tenuous situation in Austin. He quickly reacted to the hiring of Strong, expressing interest in the offensive attack that would be implemented under a new regime.
"I do think coach Strong is a great coach. However, for me as both a blocking and a pass catching tight end, I still need to hear what kind of offensive philosophy and coordinator he is going to choose," Whiteley had told OrangeBloods.com writer Jason Suchomel on Sunday.
Apparently he approves of the outlook at Texas under the direction of Strong. The Longhorns remain in search of an offensive coordinator as the program pieces together a revamped coaching staff, but they managed to add a valuable piece for whoever accepts the position.
Whiteley is rated a 4-star recruit and the country's No. 1 JUCO tight end by 247Sports. He joins a 2014 Texas class that now features 21 players.
Among current Longhorns commits, Whiteley is the first prospect to pledge to Texas since Houston safety John Bonney gave his verbal in September. Expect Strong to hit the recruiting trail at a torrid pace prior to national signing day in an effort to elevate a recruiting class that currently ranks 12th nationally, according to 247Sports.
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