Coach Greg Schiano's move to Tampa Bay Buccaneers catches recruit offguard

Published Jan. 28, 2012

TAMPA — Count Gainesville High linebacker and USF recruit Tashon Whitehurst among the surprised to hear Greg Schiano left Rutgers to become the Bucs' coach.

Whitehurst made an official visit to Rutgers, among his finalists with USF and Syracuse, last weekend.

"I was at (Schiano's) house," Whitehurst said Friday. "We watched the NFL game, Patriots and Ravens."

Rutgers assistants Chris Hewitt and Robb Smith were at Gainesville High on Thursday when the news broke. Whitehurst said he was taking a test when they arrived and by the time he finished, they had left.

"They hadn't known about Coach Schiano leaving," he said.

Rutgers named offensive line coach Kyle Flood as interim coach. Whitehurst said he will wait to see if the school names a permanent coach before eliminating it from consideration.

"I still love their coaches, and I enjoyed my visit," he said. "I know there's a lot of money involved (in the Bucs job), and I know (Schiano) has four kids and a wife to take care of."

Whitehurst, a three-star recruit according to, previously orally committed to Syracuse. He said USF assistants Phil McGeoghan and Vernon Hargreaves visited his school Tuesday and he will announce a decision Wednesday on national signing day.

"I have all three hats ready," he said.