Everyone knows that Levonte 'Kermit' Whitfield has always held a special place for Miami in his heart. It looks like, however, the 'Canes may need to make some room.
The former UM commitment said Saturday that Florida State is pulling out in front and while he fell short of saying FSU was a new frontrunner, he also did not dismiss the notion.
"FSU is stepping out more," said Whitfield, who attended the Seminoles Jimbo Fisher Football Camp this week in Tallahassee. "Miami and Ohio State are right up there too."
Whitfield, who also attended an Ohio State camp last month, is preparing for two 7-on-7 tournaments this week. He recently accepted an invitation to play in the Champion Gridiron Kings tournament next weekend at ESPN's Wide World of Sports (WWOS).
He will also take part in another event, the ESPNHS KSA 7-on-7 tournament, with his Orlando Jones teammates beginning Sunday at WWOS.
He decommitted from the Hurricanes on March 25 and a month ago revealed his top six remaining schools as UM, FSU, Florida, Ohio State, Clemson and West Virginia.
The Gators have fallen off the pace a bit and looks like they could be joining Clemson and WVU as the also-rans in this race for a true thoroughbred of a performer.
Whitfield is fresh off a performance at Nike's The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., that had plenty of people rethinking their assessment of the 5-foot-9, 165-pound speedster.
Everyone knew he was fast and he proved it once again by popping a 4.37-second 40-yard-dash time at The Opening.
What many had never witnessed, however, was Whitfield's ability to maneuver. He has hips on a swivel and hands to match those of any of the top receivers. He might be short, but he's any coaches dream who is looking for a shifty slot receiver and elusive kick return specialist.
He also runs tight routes and the little man has never shied away from going up in traffic.
"It felt good," Whitfield said of his performance at The Opening. "I got to show that I'm a football player and not just a track guy playing football. I'm a football player who is also running track."
What FSU might have in its corner is an ace receiver named Marvin Bracy from Orlando Boone. The equally fast Bracy signed with the Seminoles in February and is a cousin of Whitfield's. The pair are also good friends.
"Oh yeah, we're tight .. always," Whitfield said of Bracy. "It could [make a difference], but I don’t know."
He's looking forward to another opportunity to go up against some to the nation's top talents at the Gridiron Kings, a tourney consisting of 64 of some of the top players in the country. The talent is divided into six regions for team competition.
Whitfield will play for the Southeast team, made up mostly of Florida and Georgia players. Team Southeast has won two of the three Gridiron events.
"It’s good because you get the opportunity to compete with good players around you and I get to show my talent and play on the same team with other players in [ESPN] top 150."
At the same time, however, he dismissed the thought that rankings hold the key to determining what kind of player he is or will be. He said that while he might be ranked low, there could also be players within the rankings like ESPN's 150 who are over-rated.
"I don’t really care about all the rankings," he said. "There can be a lot of people in the [ESPN] 150 that don’t stand up to that status. I’m not knocking anybody, just how I feel."
All he wants to do at this point is show people what he can do on the field. An ankle injury sidelined him for the majority of his junior year last season and he only played in three games.
"Nobody really knows what I can do. Not unless they saw me my sophomore season, or freshman, when I was really healthy," Whitfield said. "Nobody's has seen me take over a game ... It's been a long time,"
It won't be long before he gets that chance to show off his skills for one last high school season. Jones starts practice, with all other Florida schools, on Aug. 6.
"I'm very anxious," he said.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.