PewterReport.com is covering all of the East West Shrine practices this week from St. Petersburg, and will daily provide a player spotlight article.
On Monday we profile former FSU standout wide receiver/kick returner Kermit Whitfield.
The speedy Whitfield helped the Seminoles come from behind to beat the Auburn Tigers in the 2013 NCAA championship game with a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. While that play stands out in the mind of college football fans more than others, Whitfield was also a big contributor in the passing game for the Noles during his career, and finished the 2016 season second on the team in receiving yards (798), touchdown receptions (6) and was third in catches with 57.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston told PewterReport.com on Monday evening, Whitfield is a speed demon.
“(Kermit) can stretch the field on any NFL team,” Winston said. “Kermit came to FSU as one of the fastest men alive, maybe second to (his cousin) Marvin Bracy who left FSU for a track career, but was a major part of us winning the national championship with his 101-yard kickoff return.”
Kermit Whitfield – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
Whitfield was names second team All-ACC this season as a receiver by the media and coaches, and was clocked at 4.37 coming out of high school. While his size (5-8) could hurt his draft stock, his versatility to return kickoffs and punts, plus as a receiver, and sometime ball carrier, will intrigue a number of NFL teams, perhaps even the Bucs come this April.
What are some of the things you wants to show scouts this week?
“Show them I can block. Catch balls. Run routes. Coming in and out of my breaks. And kick returns. I am already good at catching kickoff returns, but showing those who haven’t seen me on punt returns yet. Just me fielding the ball. Getting some yards and possibly score.”
What have you heard, if anything from scouts or teams?
“I haven’t really heard anything yet. I am basically here to turn heads.”
What are some of the things you want to improve on before the draft?
“Basically processing information. Learning things from the guys teaching me what it is like to be in the NFL. Studying film. Stuff like that.”
Thoughts on if you were to be drafted by the Buccaneers and being reunited with Jameis Winston?
“That would be great. With me being in Tampa (training) he might be throwing to me while I am training. So we will get that timing.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at email@example.com
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