Name: Kielan Whitner
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.
High School: Mountain View
2017 Stats: Whitner kept pretty busy last year for the Syracuse Orange, playing both linebacker and safety, plus plenty of special teams. He had eight tackles on the year and also started a game at safety.
2018 projections: After bouncing around positions these past few years, Whitner is now Syracuse’s starting strongside linebacker. That may seem strange at first, but the fact that he’s a reformed defensive back might actually help this year’s unit fit the Tampa-2 even more than the previous group. Linebackers need to be able to play in coverage in this system, and Whitner fills that need.
How’d he get here: Despite offers from schools like Appalachian State, Army, Georgia State, Air Force and Troy, he decided to head up north to SU.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Both Rivals and 247Sports declared two stars. Suit yourselves...
Money Quote: Whitner went with humanitarian group Eternal Hope down to Haiti earlier this year and shared his experience with Syracuse.com:
“One thing I really took away from the trip was just to appreciate the little things in life. I’m worried about football games, stuff like that, but these people are worried about where their next meal is coming from.”
Tweets of wonder: Commemorating some quality special teams work last year.
Kielan Whitner pins them deep! pic.twitter.com/5V4SbW2FwC— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) September 24, 2017
What movie would Dino recommend for him: Actor Whit Bissell plays a senator in 1964’s “Seven Days in May,” which talks nuclear disarmament and the threat of a surprise Soviet attack. These were the extent of political thrillers back then.
Interesting nugget o’interest: Whitner was born in Los Angeles (so did the opposite move of the reset of us). His dad played professional baseball within the Detroit Tigers’ farm system for a couple years at the Rookie League and Single-A levels.
Let’s get a good look at you: Let’s see what Kielan had to say this Spring.