• John Macon Gillespie

Fortius Spotlight: Brandon's Bo Whatley

The Brandon Bulldogs should figure into the 6A title discussion in 2016, in fact, most expect they will be in the thick of it. And why not? They return starting quarterback Brady Anderson and many starters from last season. Their roster runs deep with experience and that certainly bodes well for them this Fall.

However, Saturday, sophomore Bo Whatley showed that Bulldogs won’t be dropping off following the 2016 season. The rising junior signal caller not only appears to be the heir apparent to Anderson, but has the look of a future star. It was clear that his competitiveness gives him an edge and he has a very strong and capable arm from his showing at the Fortius Project this past weekend. So much so, that he was named to the 15-member All-Combine team.

“I enjoyed the competition and the energy. I also liked the throwing portion of the camp, which had more of a head-to-head feel to it,” Whatley told SES Mississippi. “Bringing home a medal was exciting. It showed that my hard work hasn’t been wasted this offseason.”

After showing his athleticism in the testing portion of the camp, he was an even more impressive once he began throwing the ball. His performance in the 1-on-1s and 7-on-7s easily earned him a medal and set him apart.

“My footwork and quickness,” Whatley offered when asked which skills he felt he showed best on Saturday. “I felt like I stood out during the 7-on-7 because I was able to dissect the defense and their coverages.”

Though, the defensive group of guys he faced at the camp validated a lesson he had learned in the past.

“I’ve always been told that your attitude is contagious. I learned that to be true during the 7-on-7s. I looked at the defense and they were all feeding off of each other’s energy and it made them hard to be successful against,” Whatley said.

Admittedly, after spending so much time working on his accuracy, he needs to avert some of his attention to his speed and the testing of it. Although, he aspires to be like former Mississippi State star and NFL hopeful Dak Prescott. He describes himself as a player by simply classifying himself as guy who makes the plays that need to be made.

“Ive been working on my accuracy on all of my throws, I realized I need to work on my 40-yard dash some more,” He explained. “My type of game is just making the plays I am supposed to. If something breaks down in the pocket, I’m not afraid to take off and get the yards with my feet. I think I have the ability to stretch a defense with both my arms and my legs.”

While Anderson missed some time in 2015 due to injury Whatley was able to prove that he can still navigate the offense to solid results. It was a positive for him and he enjoyed the opportunity it gave him with his teammates.

“Last year consisted of me stepping in here and there and taking advantage of the reps I was given,” He said. “The size of the stage meant nothing once the ball was in my hand. I felt like the game against Clinton provided me the opportunity to prove myself and gain the confidence of my teammates.”

He completed seven of 16 passes against Clinton, while throwing for 77 yards and leading the Bulldogs to a win. He can build off of that as he looks forward to accomplishing the goals he has set for himself in the future. Leadership is something he will look to develop and get better with in the next two seasons at Brandon.

“I expect to continue to try to be the hardest worker in the weight room and on the field,” Whatley said. “I take my goals one step at a time, that means my focus right now is to continue working hard and to prove that I can be a leader for my team.”

“Always giving 110 percent whether in the weight room or on the field helps me to be an effective leader. Also the fact that I enjoy crunch time when everyone looks to you to finish the game. And my positive attitude that my teammates can feed off of.”

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