Orlando Jones speedster Levonte Kermit Whitfield commits to Miami for 2013
Levonte 'Kermit' Whitfield committed to Miami Friday (May 20). (CHRIS HAYS/ORLANDO SENTINEL / March 30, 2012)
"He was grinning from ear to ear like a kid at Christmas," Jones football coach Kenard Lang said.
"Feels good," said Whitfield, who was getting ready for the Tigers' spring game Friday night at Orlando Oak Ridge. "My top two were the U and Florida State, and Miami is my favorite school."
He also said he wasn't sure why he committed on this particular day, but that he just "kinda felt like it."
Whitfield informed Lang, a former Miami Hurricane himself, of his intentions Friday morning, and then he called UM coach Al Golden with his commitment.
"Yeah, it's early, but Kermit told me of his intentions when he first got here as a freshman. That's his dream school," Lang said. "He's always had a Miami hat on at track meets and he's always throwin' up the 'U' sign.
"He loved them so much that he contacted the school himself and asked them to take a look at him," Lang said. "They saw his film and liked what they saw."
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Whitfield, besides being the state 100-meter champion, plays a variety of positions for Lang on the Jones football team. He'll run back kickoffs and punts, as well as play receiver, some running back and safety.
He is the Class 2A state champion in the 100-meter dash, anchored the Tigers’ nationally-ranked 4x100 relay to a state title, and was runner-up in the 200 to class of 2011 Clemson football signee Sammie Watkins of South Fort Myers.
Whitfield has a best of 10.47 seconds in the 100, which ranks fourth best among sophomores nationally. His 200 best is 21.35, also fourth best among the nation's 10th graders.
Last year, Whitfield had 326 yards receiving with four touchdowns on 21 receptions, 222 yards rushing with four touchdowns, and five interceptions and three sacks from a safety spot. He also had several touchdown on kick and punt returns.
Lang is equally proud as a former Hurricane.
"It means a lot. Now you have to be almost like Superman and better," Lang said. "You've got to do what you do, but now you’re Hurricane now you've got to be even better and work harder … and I know he’ll do that."
What will be interesting is to see if Whitfield has any pull among his friends, in particular a close family friend in cousin Marvin Bracy, a speedster in his own right, who was the 100- and 200-meter champion in the 4A state track meet last week. Bracy plays wide receiver/returner at Orlando Boone High.
"I do hope Marvin will go there," Whitfield said. "It would be cool to be on the same team."
Whitfield even intimated that he might go where Bracy goes. Bracy is a rising senior and has not committed.
The other friend he might lure along with him is Jones' standout offensive tackle Duaron Williams, who has hinted at Miami being his top school, at times.
"I don't know just yet, but I couldn't be happier for Kermit," rising senior Williams said. "He put himself in a great situation. He deserves it. As for me, the world will just have to wait and see."
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.