Tija’i Whatley spent his 2018 season as a redshirt for Paul Johnson and brings a multi-faceted set of skills for the team under Geoff Collins.
Following a standout career at Darlington High School in Rome, Georgia, where he had 1,502 yards and 23 scores in his senior season, Tiaja’i Whatley redshirted for his freshman season for the Yellow Jackets in 2018. Originally signed under Paul Johnson, Whatley demonstrated a wide variety of skills that made him a versatile pick for the Yellow Jackets offense both in the triple option but also now in a pro-style system.
He was able to line up at mutiplenspots including both running back and receiver. Not to mention he was a strong pass catcher. It’s hard to imagine that with new head coach Geoff Collins, Whatley will not be just as coveted as a potential playmaker with players being asked to hold various different roles for the team.
Whatley is currently listed as a running back on the Georgia Tech football roster adding him to a long list of guys who could compete for starting time during the fall. Whatley has serious potential to be a nightmare in the passing game as his length could allow him to grow into a playmaker out of the backfield.
With the depth that is already present at running back on this roster, Whatley could make an impact at the receiver to help add depth to that position for Dave Patenaude and his offense. It is also entirely possible that Whatley is used for his original purpose which was as an A-back for Paul Johnson’s offense. In the new offense, they’d be referred to as all-purpose backs. There is a pretty good chance that an updated version of the option will still exist for the Jackets this season and it would make sense for Whatley to be used in those packages.
No matter what happens the answer will come soon as the Yellow Jackets will open the season in just 20 days on August 29th against the Clemson Tigers in Death Valley under the prestigious view of College GameDay and the newly launched ACC Network.