GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Josh Whyle is staying quite busy this month of March.
Not only has the La Salle junior helped the Lancers’ basketball team to its fifth consecutive district final this Saturday, but he’s also one of Ohio’s most recruited football players in the 2018 class.
He’s hearing plenty of sales pitches from college football programs. He’s fielding questions from reporters. And he’s talked to coaches on FaceTime.
Whyle, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound tight end, has 24 scholarship offers in football. His size and agility on the perimeter make him a coveted prospect from a program that has won three consecutive Division II state titles.
His ability to catch the ball and make defenders miss separates him from his peers, according to La Salle coach Pat McLaughlin. Whyle played wide receiver his freshman and sophomore seasons at La Salle.
“He will have a big role in the offense,” McLaughlin said.
While Whyle concentrates on helping the La Salle basketball team this weekend, he’s also in the process of taking some visits to schools like Ohio State, Indiana and Louisville during the weekends during basketball season.
His scholarship list is impressive and growing each day. Louisville offered him Wednesday morning. He also has offers from Auburn, UC, Oregon, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Duke, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota and Kentucky, among others.
“It’s been blowing up lately but I haven’t really let it get to my head or anything,” Whyle told WCPO.com Wednesday morning. “I have been able to keep up with school work and stuff like that. The biggest thing is a whole bunch of reporters (Scout, 247Sports and Rivals) just want to get my insight on it. That’s actually what is taking up my time mostly.”
Schools will direct message Whyle on Twitter, ask for his cell number and call him to offer.
Last week, Oregon had a unique way of offering him a scholarship -- through FaceTime.
“That was actually pretty cool,” Whyle said. “It was one thing that stood out to me from them because no other school has done that.”
Around 2 p.m. March 8, Whyle called Oregon co-offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. The entire Oregon coaching staff sat in on the video conference.
Arroyo put the camera on the entire staff and they all yelled, ‘Go Ducks.’ The coaches talked about how he would fit in the Pac-12 program.
“It was definitely cool,” Whyle said. “I got to see the coaches in their office. It was a little thing but it kind of impressed me they wanted to do instead of just talking on the phone.”
Right after Whyle tweeted about the Oregon offer, Vanderbilt offered. It’s the way of social media and recruiting these days.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, but Whyle has leaned on others close to him for advice. He’s let the schools come to him. He’s also upfront and honest.
The 17-year-old has asked the right questions to those at La Salle.
A recruit must consider the situation at the college program and the reality is that a coach may be on the hot seat or not even there for four years.
La Salle Athletic Director Keith Pantlinghas enjoyed helping Whyle. Pantling was previously the associate director of football operations for Butch Jones at Tennessee.
“The biggest thing that I’ve shared with Josh is putting yourself in the minds of the coaches and understanding their programs,” Pantling said. “Whether it’s how many tight ends they have on scholarship, how many offers they have out at that position, how they utilize the tight end, how long you anticipate the coaching staff being there -- the average time now is three years. Some of the tight ends coaches recruiting him are also the offensive coordinator which can be helpful.”
Whyle, who lives in Mount Airy, has given a top 10 list to McLaughlin but he’s still sorting through the schedule of visits with his family this spring given the overwhelming amount of interest.
He hopes to visit Oregon with his family, but also wants the right fit academically too. Whyle has an interest in studying in sports medicine with a focus on physical therapy.
He’s being patient with the process of selecting a school. The college programs will certainly be paying attention.
“I have to go visit and see how the academics are and see if I see myself there the next four years,” Whyle said.