Top247 NOTE Creed Whittemore commits to Billy Napier and Florida

One of the Sunshine State’s top overall football players is headed to Florida as Gainesville (Fla.) FW Buchholz Top247 athlete Creed Whittemore announced a verbal commitment to the Gators on Saturday.

On the surface, this commitment might appear to be a bit of a lay up for Florida given Whittemore’s ties to the Gators, but the soon-to-be senior claims that he wasn’t exactly always sure that Florida was going to be the place for him.

“I took about a year to explore my options. A lot of people in my family were telling me that they do not care if I got to Florida, which is big because obviously I have had a lot of family that went to Florida. But they told me to look around, and I think I have done just that, ”Whittemore told 247Sports over the phone. “You know, I’m a 17-year-old kid. So, I think every facility is cool and that every school has its positives. But everytime I came back to Gainesville and went into the Swamp and felt that atmosphere – it’s just different. I saw all these other places, but in the end, Florida tops all of them. ”

Whittemore is the younger brother of current Florida wide receiver Trent Whittemore. His mother, Missy, was an All-SEC volleyball player for the Gators. While those two might bleed orange and blue, his father and longtime coach, Mark, was actually a decorated wide receiver at UCF, and that’s one of the main reasons why the Knights – and others – were giving the youngest Whittemore something to think about down the stretch.

So, aside from the comfort level at Florida, what pushed Creed to the Gators, and now?

It sounds like Billy Napier.

Whittemore actually landed an offer from Florida last summer after a strong performance during wide receiver / defensive back 1-on-1s at UF’s annual Friday Night Lights camp. He quickly connected with a few different coaches on Dan Mullen’s staff, but was not sure where things stood with the Gators once Napier took over.

“I’m actually glad Coach Napier took his time when it came to evaluating me instead of just offering me because my brother plays there,” Whittemore said. “I respect that about him. He could have easily just come in and said that I still have an offer, but he took his time to watch my film and break me down. I like that about him because I had to earn it. He wants me for who I am and the kind of player I am. And you know, I think we have a great relationship right now, and I think it’s only going to get better once I get there. ”

Whittemore has played primarily quarterback at a high level the past two years in the Sunshine State’s second-highest classification. While at least one FBS program wanted him to throw passes on Saturdays, most coaches and scouts view Whittemore as a slot receiver at the next level given how he changes directions and creates separation with his 10.85 speed. Napier does, as well.

“Coach Napier is looking for someone to play that H or Y position, which is where they want a smaller, quicker guy that’s got speed and hands. Almost like how the [New England] Patriots were using Julian Edleman to throw those quick routes to and get him the ball in space. I think he sees me as one of those guys, and honestly that’s kind of where I have always envisioned myself. Doing that and also returning punts, ”Whittemore said.

Whittemore also held offers from Michigan, Texas A&M, Miami and Penn State while schools like Clemson and Stanford had expressed some interest in recent months. New suitors could certainly try and get involved in the recruitment before the Early Signing Period rolls around, but it does not sound like it will be easy to pry Whittemore away from the Gators.

“I think [UF assistant Keary Colbert] is a great coach, ”Whittemore said.“ You do not necessarily want to go to a place because of a position coach, but I think he’s just a plus right now if you are a receiver at Florida. He cares about his guys and he’s going to keep it real with you. ”

Whittemore is listed at 5-foot-11.5, 175 pounds and ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 20 athletes in the class of 2023.

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