Two weeks later there's been no buyer's remorse for Whittemore

May 23, 2022 | 0 comments

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More than just a legacy offer: Creed Whittemore‍’s commitment to Florida may not be surprising by name. But in nature it provided a refreshing insight into a revamped Florida program under coach Billy Napier.

Two weeks after he made the plunge, Inside the Gators had a chance to speak with Whittemore about what made Florida the right fit beyond familiarity, the reaction from those close to him, and if there's been any buyer’s remorse.

For Whittemore, it was about stepping inside, being personally invited in merit to a program whose backyard he’s played in his entire life.

“So, I think like a year ago about right now when Florida started recruiting me, the old staff, I got that offer over the summer,” explained Whittemore. “Then, coach Napier came in and I think I just respected the way he handled it.

“He didn’t just say ‘you know you got your offer just come to a camp.’ He really studied my film and studied me, made sure I was a good fit.”

For Whittemore, the match with Florida was mutual in a race for Buchholz’s dual-threat athlete’s commitment.

“I went all around the country in the past year and every time I realized that none of these places were better than The Swamp — the place that was right in backyard and the atmosphere we have and the fans — the team I’ve been cheering for my whole life.”

Having to differentiate home and the right program to foster success went hand in hand with finding a path that blazed by Whittemore’s virtue, not his brother’s.

“Just because I had a brother there and he was an in-town coach… he didn’t just give me an offer if he didn’t think I could actually be a part of or contribute to the team. I think that was a big reason.”

It was a process of getting to know the new head of the Gators for Whittemore, an avenue for newfound growth and deserved recognition. Legacy in his brother’s time at Florida and in his dad’s (Mark Whittemore), decade-long tenure as Buchholz’s head coach has followed Creed throughout his football career.

“I definitely, at first was kind of trying to figure them out. Trying to figure out if they wanted me. I think coach Napier not just throwing me an offer (in the beginning) ‘just because’ was a good reminder that he wanted me for who I am and I’m a totally different player than Trent (Whittemore). He looked through that and saw the player I was and made sure he was getting what he knew.”

Whittemore’s commitment became part of a day of highlights for the Gator Nation as IMG Academy’s four-star offensive lineman Knijeah Harris‍ committed to the Gators on the same Saturday — a clear sign of the program’s prestige and rise according to Whittemore.

“I think it’s cool that there was a commitment the same day as me. I really didn’t even know until the night before. It’s cool to see other players, other big-time players seeing the same thing I see. It’s just a good reminder that Florida is one of the best schools in the country, they always will be, and everybody sees that.”

Florida beat out finalists Penn State, Mississippi State, and UCF for Whittemore’s commitment.

For Whittemore, it was the key edge provided by Florida’s wide receiver’s coach Keary Colbert that sealed the deal.

“I really enjoy coach KC, I think that’s a big part of it. You never want to commit somewhere because of the coach but coach KC is definitely a plus to going to Florida as a receiver. I think he’s a great coach. He’s down to Earth and willing to put himself in your shoes. He was a great receiver back in the day so you can respect that for sure.”

Though Whittemore is projected as a receiver, he played quarterback at Buccholz in a 2021 season where he threw for more than 2,100 yards, picking up 760 yards on the ground in the process as he was responsible for 32 touchdowns. The sacrifice of a quarterback projected as a wide receiver is a welcome one said Whittemore who championed the added knowledge the position brings.

“I think a lot of great players, if you can throw, you should definitely try to play QB. It helps your knowledge of the game a whole bunch. I really enjoy playing QB for my high school. I can get the ball every play and just be able to spread the ball around. Moving to receiver, you can put yourself in the quarterback’s eyes and maybe see some things you wouldn’t have if you didn’t play quarterback.”

It would not be the first time a Whittemore threw and caught for the Gators as Creed reminisced on his brother Trent’s touchdown pass against Tennessee.

“It was a cool moment for him, I was excited for him. He also played quarterback in high school. I was excited that he was able to have that opportunity. I think it would be cool to maybe do that when I get there.”

Whittemore told Inside the Gators that a dream touchdown could be in the works with an option to either catch a touchdown pass from Trent or throw a touchdown pass to Trent? Whittemore had a straight answer:

“Yeah, throwing him one…that would be sweet.”

With the stars aligned in legacy, merit and desire for Florida, it was an unforgettable moment of happiness that made Creed Whittemore a Gator commit.

“I went up to Florida on a little unofficial visit and coach Napier pulled me aside, told me I had an offer, we talked for a little bit and yeah that’s how it went down.

“I had already had the offer, he reoffered me at that point. I was obviously happy you know; it was kind of a relief for sure. I think the new coaching staff, the new people and the system will do a great job and Florida will continue to be great like they’ve always been.”

Now a Florida commit, Whittemore told Inside the Gators that he does not plan on taking visits elsewhere at the moment but plans to be at Florida over the summer though he does not have a set date yet.

He said that to this point a couple of the programs that offered him (mostly Mississippi State) are staying in contact and the feedback he has received from family, friends, and teammates has been nothing but positive.

“They love it,” said Whittemore. “Everyone in my school is a Gator fan. So…”

Whittemore is currently and rather expeditiously on recruiting duty for the Orange and Blue.

“The coaches will send me a player every once in a while and tell me to reach out to them. So, I think I’m just here to reach out to anybody and I think if you’re a great player you should definitely have interest in Florida because we’re a great program.”

Tags: Sport

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