One of the premier players in the state, Whitehead is ranked the No. 27 defensive back in the country by Rivals.com. A starter since his freshman year, he is a multitalented player who also is an excellent kick returner. A year ago, he was Central Valley’s second-leading rusher with 674 yards on 82 carries (8.2 average) and also the leading receiver with 22 catches for 317 yards. He helped the Warriors reach the WPIAL Class AAA title game. He also was one of the top sprinters in WPIAL track in the spring. Athletic talent is in his genes. His mother, Antonia Whitehead, was a star sprinter in the WPIAL in the mid 1980s and his father, Greg, was a talented basketball player at NCAA Division III College of Staten Island in New York.
Whitehead is one of the most heavily recruited players in the state with about two dozen scholarship offers from Division I colleges. He says he doesn’t have a final list of schools, but Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Ohio State and Alabama are mentioned most often with Whitehead. All have offered. He plans to announce his decision Oct. 3.
Our questions, his answers
Your fourth year as a starter, will we see anything new of Jordan Whitehead this year? Nothing really new. The only difference is I will be a senior.
Last year you averaged six carries a game and less than two catches a game. Do you hope to touch the ball more? I do, and actually coach Mark [Lyons] is planning on changing the offense a little bit to get me the ball a little more. But it's not a priority in my eyes. It's a team sport. I'll do anything the team needs to win.
You do a lot on the field, do you ever get tired? I'm not going to lie. I do get tired. Mentally, you just have to push through it. The hard thing for me, though, is cramps. My cramp issues are bad. I try to get as much water as I can.
You used to play basketball. Why not any more? In 10th grade, I got a concussion in football in the [WPIAL] semifinals. I sat out half the year in basketball, so I decided not to play that year or last year. I was going to play basketball this season, but not now because I'm going to go to college early [for the spring semester in January].
People might be surprised to know ... I did some gymnastics during last track season. I wanted to learn how to do a back flip, so I went to some gymnastics classes with the cheerleaders to learn how to do a back flip.
And finally ...
Can we talk recruiting now, or are you tired of it? No, we can talk.
It seems most people think Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State are your top choices. Are they? Not necessarily so. The only reason people think that is because those are the schools that were most interested in me early. But things are getting more serious now with schools. It's hard to have a final list.
Are you seriously considering Alabama? Yes. Just not because they offered, but because I feel I can compete at that highest level.
What's the biggest thing you don't like about recruiting? It's that all the coaches from every school are nice and tell you this and that. But you don't know who is serious or not. Trusting them is the hard part.