Texas Football: Meet Blake Whiteley, the 1st Commit of the Charlie Strong Era

Taylor GasparFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2014

AUSTIN, TX - JANUARY 6: The University of Texas Longhorns new head football coach Charlie Strong from Louisville flashes the 'Hook 'Em Horns' sign after being introduced during a press conference January 6, 2014 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

It has been a whirlwind week for Texas Longhorn fans, full of people losing their jobs and decommitments.

But the light at the end of the tunnel came when the Longhorns picked up the first Texas commit of the Charlie Strong era. Arizona Western Community College tight end Blake Whiteley became Strong's first Longhorn commit Wednesday.

The 6'5", 240-pound Whiteley took an official visit to Austin the weekend of the Texas football banquet on December 13, one day before Mack Brown resigned. 

"I do think Coach Strong is a great coach," Whiteley told Jason Suchomel of Orangebloods.com. "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. For other positions, it won't matter as much, but for me having caught over 70 passes in my senior high school year, it really does."

Apparently, Strong won over Whiteley because, as of Thursday, the Longhorns have not named an offensive coordinator.

Whiteley will fill a major void for Texas, as the only two tight ends on campus, Geoff Swaim and Greg Daniels, will be seniors in 2014. 

Tight ends Swaim and Daniels' primary focus in 2013 was on blocking for the Longhorns run heavy ground attack. The duo combined for only six catches and 42 yards. In his one season at Arizona Western, Whiteley caught eight passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns, according to 247sports.com, and he caught 76 passes for 1,228 yards and 18 touchdowns in his senior year at West Vancouver Secondary, according to Scout.com.


What does Whiteley mean for Texas?

Whiteley's senior season stats prove he is versatile and can be a threat in the passing game, which is something the Longhorns have not had for years.

With Swaim and Daniels entering their final season, Whiteley's arrival will add the much needed depth and a long-term solution for the tight end position.


Taylor is Bleacher Report's Lead Writer covering the Texas Longhorns. Follow Taylor on Twitter: @Taylor_Gaspar