SPIRO — If you’re talented enough on the football field, the college recruiters will find you.
Even in Spiro.
McKinley Whitfield is that type of talent. He’s the reason several college programs are becoming familiar with the Class 3A school in far eastern Oklahoma.
The versatile star comes in at No. 9 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruiting rankings for the Class of 2015.
“We’re not around the Tulsa or Oklahoma City area, which is where it’s easier to get noticed,” said Spiro coach Chris Bunch. “We’re in a small town, and most people just don’t come down our way as much. I think that has a lot to do with him being overlooked a little bit. I really think he can play on a Big 12 or SEC level.”
Whitfield, listed as an athlete, has mainly been recruited as a defensive back. He checks in at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds and runs a 4.56 in the 40-yard-dash with a 34-inch vertical leap. While his combination of size and athleticism is impressive, it doesn’t currently fit the typical mold of any defensive position at the Division-I level.
His 210-pound bench-press max suggests Whitfield has the potential to add bulk to his frame, which could ultimately make him an ideal fit at linebacker or a hybrid position. If a school decides to play him on offense, receiver remains the obvious choice.
“I think I’ll end up playing at safety or as a receiver,” Whitfield said. “That’s what I would prefer right now, but people have talked to me some about linebacker. I will play anywhere if I have to.”
After leading the Bulldogs in receiving as a sophomore, Whitfield moved to quarterback for his junior season. Throughout high school he’s played quarterback, receiver, safety, linebacker, and cornerback.
“He does everything at practice and in games like he’s supposed to,” Bunch said. “All the kids look up to him as our leader, and he does a good job with that.”
Whitfield currently has scholarship offers from 10 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, including Tulsa and Minnesota. He’s also received strong interest from Missouri.
“I’m not really waiting on an offer from any one school,” Whitfield said. “I’m just not thinking about it too much and trying to enjoy the process.
“I do think I’ll excel in college once I’m focusing on one position. Right now, I’m fine with working on everything else because it’s good for my team in high school.”