'I'm wide open'

Jalen Whitlow

Jalen Whitlow committed to Hugh Freeze in June. Of course, Freeze was at Arkansas State back then.


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Six months later, Freeze has moved from Arkansas State to Ole Miss, replacing Houston Nutt, who held the position for four seasons in Oxford.

Whitlow has since re-opened his recruitment. And, as expected, Ole Miss has emerged as a school of interest.

"I'm wide open right now," Whitlow said. "The coaching staff (at Arkansas State) left. It was a surprise. The timing of it, I was like, it's time to open it back up and look at other schools."

He holds offers from, among others, Minnesota, Memphis, South Alabama and Arkansas State. But many other schools have expressed interest in Whitlow, rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com.

Whitlow, a quarterback, said he is focusing primarly on four schools: Minnesota, Central Florida, Ole Miss and Arkansas State. Former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was hired to take over for Freeze at Arkansas State.

"Coach Malzahn, he told me they're going to do some great things at Arkansas State," Whitlow said. "He's seen my film and what I can do, and he talked about what he was able to do with Cam Newton at Auburn and everything."

Minnesota, Whitlow said, has shown the most interest.

"It's a great program," he said of Minnesota. "They've got a good offense, a spread offense. They're on the rise. It's a big team, a big conference."


Jalen Whitlow
Andrew Bone

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Whitlow, of Prattville High School in Prattville, Ala., is a member of the recruiting class of 2012.

Ole Miss defensive line coach Chris Kiffin, brother to Southern Cal head coach Lane Kiffin and son of USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, has kept in contact with Whitlow.

Whitlow said he is "interested" in Ole Miss. "They want me to play quarterback," he said.

Whitlow would prefer to play quarterback in college. Minnesota is recruiting Whitlow as a wide receiver.

"The recruiting coordinator at Arkansas State, he's at Ole Miss now. Chris Kiffin, I've talked to him a couple of times," Whitlow said. "They're trying to figure out what they're going to do with the quarterback situation. He said for me to be patient and everything.

"I'm interested. They want me to play quarterback, too, so that's definitely a plus. And it's in the SEC. They can't go nowhere else but up from last year. That's a plus."

Quarterback is his natural position, but he's played some wide receiver in high school, as well. Whitlow said his strengths as a quarterback are his speed, mobility, accuracy, etc.

As far as official visits, Whitlow has two scheduled and is considering another. He'll visit Ole Miss for the weekend of Jan. 27. A week prior, he'll trip to Central Florida. He is undecided on whether or not he'll visit Minnesota.

"To tell you the truth, I really don't know," Whitlow said, when asked of a timetable for a decision. "I'm pretty much taking my time, and at the end I'm going to see what I got on the table."

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