LB Whitley commits to Alabama

Houston North Shore linebacker Zach Whitley Jr. originally wanted to take his time with the recruiting process. Even as late as last month, he said that he wanted to wait until his senior season was underway before making a commitment.

A visit to Alabama changed that.

The four-star linebacker committed to the Crimson Tide on Friday, according to North Shore recruiting coordinator Garrett Cross.

Whitley, the ninth-ranked inside linebacker in the country, had offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and TCU in addition to Alabama.

Earlier this year, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Whitley attended junior days at both Texas and Texas A&M but made his first trip to Alabama on April 20 for "A-Day." He is the sixth commitment in the 2014 class for the Crimson Tide and the second inside linebacker. Defense is a priority in this class for Alabama, with at least five of the six committed players projected to play on that side of the line of scrimmage.

ESPN scouts call Whitley a "tough, physical linebacker prospect who plays fast but disciplined in between the tackles." His trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., was his first spring football game experience.

"He's what you look for in a linebacker," North Shore head coach David Aymond said. "All the attritbutes of a linebacker you want, he personifies. He has a commitment to working hard, believes the game to be physical, expects it to be physical around him. That's what you look for in a traditional linebacker -- dirty, grimy, physical and hard-working -- and that's what Zach is about. He works hard in the weight room and has good speed and quickness on the field."