Whaley played just six games as a senior and tucked the ball to run just 39 times for 243 yards and one touchdown.
“It's real cutthroat pretty much,” Whaley said. “They said they felt like Damien was the more productive back and they were going to go with him throughout the rest of the season. I mean, of course it bothered me but you've got to take all that like it is. I can't go home and cry about it. All you've got to do is try and get better.”
When the season ended, Whaley devoted most of his extra time away from school to training. He lifted in between classes at Oklahoma and found a personal trainer at Athletics Republic in Edmond. He ate better, treated his body better, all to give him the best shot possible at OU's Pro Day.
He didn't test as well as he hoped, but the Seahawks showed interest, then didn't sign him. He had the surgery. Now, he still lives in Norman. He's taking classes toward his degree in economics. He knows how important that piece of paper will be if another football coach won't give him a shot.
He is trying, though, for another chance.
“I got a lot of good experiences at OU,” Whaley said. “I did enjoy that experience. I wouldn't say it's the experience I wanted, my football career is not done yet. It hasn't ended.
“I've run into another speed bump, but I've been doing this all my life and I will come back strong from it. It's just counting down now the days until my return.”