Averaging 5.5 yards a carry, Whaley pounded out yards. Besides showcasing his athleticism — the highlight a 64-yard touchdown run against Texas — he showed why coaches trusted him. A fierce competitor, Whaley was known for punishing blocks as much as eye-popping stats.
The oldest of six kids in a military family, Whaley rushed for 627 yards, the most ever by an OU walk-on. Essentially in seven games. He ran for nine touchdowns. His season high was a 165-yard game against Kansas two weeks before the injury.
“It would be nice to have that every-down back,” said quarterback Landry Jones. “He and Brennan (Clay) would be that kind of back that can play every down. It would be nice to have two guys if one gets gassed or has a long run we can bring the other one in.”
Reports have been good since Whaley suffered the injury more than four months ago. He's now on scholarship.
The next hurdle, the big test, will be two-a-days in August.
“I see him almost every day,” Jones said. “To me he appears to be ahead of schedule. He's always in the training room working on it, getting his flexibility and power back. He was running the other day on the practice field. I didn't see him run but he told me it felt pretty good, pretty strong.”
Coaches and teammates say Whaley, 5-foot-10, 197 pounds, has remained upbeat.
“He's probably a little anxious,” Gundy said. “The toughest part is having that boot on for so long and then having to go through your winter workouts.”
No one could blame Whaley for being anxious. His long awaited opportunity was interrupted making a textbook block at K-State.
“It's a time deal,” Gundy said. “He looks good. He's in all the meetings. You can't get him to stay away from (the athletic facilities). ... We've got plenty of time. We're not in a hurry.”