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April 27, 2012

Virginia Tech NFL Draft Prospect FS, Eddie Whitley Interview

by Max Strauss

Eddie Whitley played college football at Virginia Tech University. During his time (2008-2011) at VT, he played in 54 games, and started 28 total. He started his career playing Special Teams, and then moved into the starting free safety role. He totaled 189 tackles, six tackles for loss, four interceptions, twelve pass deflections, and forced three fumbles. He has declared entry for the 2012 NFL Draft, and is projected to either be a seventh round or undrafted free agent. He could become a key Special Teamer. [UPDATE: EW earned a spot in the Dallas Cowboys’ 90-man roster.]

Strauss : How do you connect with your fans?

Whitley : I connect with many fans through the different social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. I try to respond to messages from fans as quickly as possible.

Strauss : How did you start playing football?

Whitley : When I was six years old, I was in a karate class and lost to a girl in the championship fight. I cried, and then I told my parents that I wanted to quit karate. I asked them to sign me up for football for the next sports season.

Strauss : What was your high school football experience like?

Whitley : I had a great experience during high school football. I played safety, my current position, throughout my high school career. I started on Varsity as a freshman, and continued until my senior season.  I tore my ACL in the summer. I was unable to play my entire senior season which was devastating.

Strauss : What was the transition like to Virginia Tech?

Whitley : The transition was at first, rough. I was playing a new position, cornerback. In addition, I was coming off my ACL injury. I didn’t understand how fast paced the game would be until I actually received playing time.

Strauss : What was it like the first time you met Coach Frank Beamer?

Whitley : The first time I met Coach Beamer, I was surprised by how down to earth and cool he was. He was really funny and I felt very comfortable around him.

Strauss : You played a lot of special teams early in your career, what was it like to be a part of that unit?

Whitley : Coach Beamer had a lot of pride in keeping the tradition of Beamerball going at Virginia Tech. I was one of the only freshmen on the special teams unit and I took the job very seriously. I was extremely focused on all of the Special Teams plays. I knew my role, and tried to play as best as possible.

Strauss : What was the most important thing you learned during your sophomore season?

Whitley : I learned how to take care of my body. I began playing more and started a couple games my sophomore year. I had to go to physical therapy and recover after games. It was important to keep healthy in order to be able to perform at my very best every week.

Strauss : What are some memories you share off the field during your time at Virginia Tech?

Whitley : I have a lot of memories of hanging out with the older guys outside of football. They were funny and great role models. As I grew older, that role changed. I can remember moving the freshmen in and showing them the ropes around Virginia Tech.

Strauss : What is your favorite memory from Virginia Tech?

Whitley : Winning the ACC championship in Charlotte against Florida State was my favorite memory at Virginia Tech. I was playing in a huge game in my hometown.  

Strauss : What was your Pro Day like?

Whitley : My Pro Day went really well. I ran a 4.38 forty, had fifteen reps on the bench, I had a 10’2” Broad Jump. I think I did well during the defensive back drills. I was happy with my results. It seems like a lot of teams were interested in me also.

Strauss : If a team called you up and said, ‘Why should we draft you?’ What is the best answer you have for them?

Whitley : Virginia Tech has a strong tradition of putting out Defensive Backs in the NFL. These are the people who I learned from. I have started at all four positions in the defensive backfield. I feel that I am very versatile. My IQ of the game allows me to play fast and smart.

Strauss : If a scout asked you to compare your game to someone in the NFL, who would you choose and why?

Whitley : If I had to compare my game to someone in the NFL, I would say Brian Dawkins. This comes from the leadership stand point. He is a very vocal player, and he likes to get all his teammates hyped. Once I started playing at Virginia Tech,  I feel that I had a similar and vocal role on the team.

Strauss : What’s your nickname?

Whitley : Edro. When I was younger and scored touchdowns, my friends told me it sounded lame to say Eddie Whitley. They started to shorten it to Edro, and it has stuck with me ever since.

Strauss : For someone who wants to eventually make the NFL, what’s your advice for them?

Whitley : Never stop dreaming. Never let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. Keep working hard, as it will pay off.

Strauss : Thank you for your time Eddie! I really appreciate it.

Whitley : I appreciate your support and please continue to support me! I will work hard to have the same successful career in the NFL as I did in college. Thank you!

->Here are some personal questions that Eddie Whitley answered.<-

Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?

Whitley : I like all of the House Parties 1, 2, 3 and 4. They are all good comedies, I love to laugh.

Strauss : What would be your last meal on earth?

Whitley : My last meal would be a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a plate of lasagna, a side of chitterlings, sweet potato pie for dessert and a cup of Chick Fil-A lemonade as a drink.

Strauss : Do you have a special pre-game ritual?

Whitley : I listen to gospel on the bus to the games. I also eat jolly ranchers and sunflower seeds. 

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