The past month and a half has been a blur for City College of San Francisco wide receiver Drake Whitehurst.
First, he was being recruited by Tony Franklin and Sonny Dykes as a receiver for Louisiana Tech. Then, Dykes was announced as the new head coach for California. After nearly taking a midyear preferred walk-on spot from Oregon, scholarship offers from Idaho and Middle Tennessee State and interest from Hawaii, Whitehurst got back in touch with the new Bear Raid masterminds, and just like that, he wound up pulling down the full ride he never could coming out of high school, and committed to Franklin, Dykes and the Bears.
“Pretty much, it was back in [November], with about three weeks to go in the football season, and coach Franklin -- when he was at Louisiana Tech -- and another Louisiana Tech staff member came to our practice and were watching us play,” said the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Whitehurst. “Afterwards, they had me and a couple other receivers on the team, and the quarterback, throw the ball around and just sort of showing what we were about. After that, he was impressed and we exchanged information and he was asking me about being a midyear transfer.
“A couple weeks down the road, the Cal job opened up, and Sonny Dykes got it and brought over some staff members, including coach Franklin, so we stayed in touch and everything, and they finally got together the first week of January -- the whole coaching staff -- they all watched the film and they were impressed, liked what they saw and pretty much offered a scholarship, which I just couldn’t turn down. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m super excited.”
Whitehurst will have three years to play two in Berkeley, and will be coming in this spring, since he was a full qualifier coming out of Portland (Ore.) Lincoln.
“I start January 22,” Whitehurst said. “I get to start learning right away and working out to get an early jump on it, hopefully.”
Whitehurst saw a flurry of interest before the dead period hit late in December, but as soon as he was able to speak with the Cal coaches again, things got rolling.
“It just sort of happened and then it hit the dead period where you can’t talk to coaches, and once it turned back around on Jan. 1, I got in contact with some coaches -- coach Franklin being one of them -- so it really happened quickly,” he said. “They got back into their offices and everything and were looking at what they had with open spots and available scholarships, so it just happened to work out in that way.”
From now until Jan. 22, and then from that day until the start of spring football on Feb. 25, Whitehurst will be in a dead sprint, on the field, in the classroom, in the weight room and moving across the Bay.
“I’ve just been trying to get my transcripts, which just got released [Saturday], so I’ve been getting them all of my information and everything like that,” Whitehurst said. “All the paperwork is still getting processed, but it should go through, because I’m a good student.”
Whitehurst boasts a 3.5 GPA with a major in Biology at CCSF, and only went the JuCo route because when he was back in Portland, he had dreams of being a college basketball player, and only turned his full attention to football rather late in the game.
Stay tuned for more in-depth from Whitehurst as we break down his commitment to the Bears.
Ryan Gorcey publishes Cal Sports Digest and writes about Major League Baseball for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @RGBearTerritory.