Count Gainesville linebacker recruit Tashon Whitehurst among those surprised this week to hear that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was leaving to become the Bucs' head coach. Just this past weekend, Whitehurst was on an official campus visit at Rutgers, which he has in his final three schools along with Syracuse and USF.
"I was at his house -- we watched the NFL game, Patriots and Ravens," said Whitehurst, who had two Rutgers assistants at his high school Thursday when news broke that Schiano was leaving for the Bucs.
Whitehurst said Rutgers assistants Chris Hewitt and Robb Smith were at Gainesville High on Thursday, but he couldn't see them immediately because he was taking a test. By the time he finished, they had left.
"I never got to talk to them. They hadn't known about Coach Schiano leaving," said Whitehurst, who said he hasn't eliminated Rutgers and will wait in the next few days to see who the Scarlet Knights' new coach is. "I still love their coaches and I enjoyed my visit. I know there's a lot of money involved (in the Bucs job), and I know he has four kids and a wife to take care of."
Whitehurst has been a Syracuse commitment but remains undecided -- he said USF assistants Phil McGeoghan and Vernon Hargreaves visited him at school on Tuesday, and Syracuse had been scheduled to see him Wednesday, but didn't as he had another conflict with a test. He'll announce his decision on Wednesday, national signing day, at a gathering at his school at 3:15. "I have all three hats ready," he said.