Whitaker just wants opportunity to play

With signing day less than a month away, four-star defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker has narrowed his search for a college to five schools.

Whitaker, 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds from Warner Robins (Ga.), has Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina, California and Miami at the top of his list. Whitaker said he likes what he is hearing from the Auburn coaching staff.

"They tell me that they will give me an opportunity," Whitaker told AuburnUndercover.com. "They are not guaranteeing anything to me. They just tell me that I will have an opportunity, and that is all I need."

Whitaker is scheduled to take an official visit to Auburn on the weekend of Jan. 15 and Georgia on the weekend of Jan. 22.

Whitaker said he last talked with Auburn defensive line coach Tracy Rocker before the dead period last month.

Whitaker said he will not make a decision until Feb. 1, two days before signing day.

Whitaker said he has been "playing hard to get" recently, but he will be taking at least two official visits later this month.

He said he has not committed to a school because he wants to make sure he makes the right decision for him the first time.

"This is a lifetime decision, and I want to get it right," Whitaker said. "I didn't want to commit somewhere and then de-commit. That is just not me. When I say that is what I want to do, that is it."

Whitaker said he has a few factors that will play into his decision.

"It will be about the people, the environment and just any gut feeling I get from that one place," Whitaker said.

Whitaker arrived in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He said he has spent some time with Auburn wide receiver commitment Trovon Reed of Thibodaux (La.).

"He is a cool dude," Whitaker said. "We had a good talk the other day."

But Whitaker said Reed knows not to pitch Auburn too hard around him.

"You have some people who try to recruit you, but all these guys know me," Whitaker said. "They know that won't work on me."

The game will be played Jan. 9 in the Alamodome.

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