Happy July, everybody. We have just 65 days left till kickoff, but as that number is currently unassigned on the Bronco roster, today we'll take a look at an as-yet numberless newcomer—Sam Whitney
#65, Sam Whitney, Grayshirt(?) Freshman, DL
Weight: 235 lbs
High School: Folsom High School, Folsom, CA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
By having a change of heart. Whitney was a standout defender for California State champ Folsom High School last season and helped lead his team to a 16-0 record and the aforementioned CIF championship before committing to play football for Sacramento State of the Big Sky Conference. It wasn't until a few weeks before signing day that the Broncos—who'd been in contact with Whitney—extended him an offer and Whitney took it. However, Whitney's flip was a bit more agonizing than you might expect though as the Broncos offer was for a grayshirt and the competitive Whitney—as he told Scout.com—was "itching to get in pads and hit someone." Ultimately, Whitney's desire to play for a national power won out and he jumped on board right before signing day.
Whitney was rated a 3-star recruit by Scout.com and the 7th rated defensive end in the state of California. He was a two-way starter at Folsom (he also played center) and reeled in MaxPreps 2nd team all-state honors and first team All-CIF San Joaquin Section honors after his senior season—a season where he made 47 tackles and 13 sacks for undefeated Bulldogs. Whitney's stellar senior season also landed him Sacramento Bee Defensive Player of the Year honors and league MVP honors as well as first team all NorCal accolades. As a junior, Whitney had 39 tackles and 4 sacks en route to league lineman of the year, first-team All-Metro and second-team All-NorCal honors. Whitney's only other offer (surprisingly) was from the aforementioned Sacramento State.
Destroying rings, destroying QBs...same diff.
Young Wes Welker?
13 sacks in 2014 for a TFL total of 134 yards. Helped lead team to undefeated season and CIF championship as senior in 2014. Named to all-state second team and All-CIF San Joaquin Section first team. Named All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year by Sacramento Bee after senior season. Named league MVP after 2014 season. Named league lineman of the year, first-team All-Metro and second-team All-NorCal after 2013 campaign.
Now that we're about 35 days into the countdown, we've had plenty of opportunities to discuss the impressive depth on the Bronco D-line for 2015. We've also had a chance to discuss how much of that depth evaporates at seasons end and the importance of the "next men up" on the Bronco interior. Simply put, the Bronco D-line should be a position of strength for the Broncos in 2015 and a position of question marks in 2016—we'll have the bodies, just not the experience. So starting next season, the Broncos will be forced to rely on a youth movement up front. A dicey proposition at times, but that's why I expect the Broncos to try to backfill a few outgoing tackle positions with some JC talent this recruiting class and hopefully get some valuable game experience under the belts of some underclassmen at the position.
Therefore, 2016 is potentially where we could see Whitney make an impact even though he's slated to grayshirt this season—I have a feeling it will be all hands on deck and the guys that have the biggest desire are going to find the field. In a Scout.com article from April, Whitney claimed he was applying for housing so he could be on campus in July as a bit of contingency plan...so the desire is most definitely there. I can't imagine a scenario where enough injury or attrition could occur in the remainder of the offseason to change the plans for Whitney, but he appears versatile enough that it's not something to completely rule out. The D-end rotation is slightly less robust for the Broncos this season than the DTs...so if an opportunity were to arise for a more traditional redshirt opportunity for Whitney, I'd think it'd be there. Whenever we see Whitney, however...he's going to be a good one. He's got a great motor and impressive first step and maybe most importantly a very evident love for the game and drive to succeed. Whenever Whitney arrives or when he "arrives", it will be to the benefit of the Bronco program.
Is he on Twitter?
I want nothing else but to be in Boise
— samuel whitney (@sam_samwhit) June 26, 2015
Completely made up fact
At one point Whitney was being courted by Houston, but the obvious future jokes became so clear in his mind that he called and told them to stand down.