In the media

NFL draft: Med school can wait for D3 corner who has plan for stopping Ja’Marr Chase

The WashU cornerback is putting off med school to pursue his NFL dreams

Yahoo Sports 
CB Andrew Whitaker intercepted four passes in 2021 and is on NFL radars.
CB Andrew Whitaker intercepted four passes in 2021 and is on NFL radars.
Andrew Whitaker is like every other long-shot NFL prospect in exactly one way: He has a dream of making it.

That part is unremarkable. But everything else about Whitaker, a cornerback at Division III Washington University In St. Louis, apparently is.

Whitaker is not only a standout at his level of football. He's also a national champion for the school in track. He has won or been nominated for national awards for academics (too many to list), community service (Allstate AFCA Good Works Team) and social consciousness (Fritz Pollard Award).

He has finished his undergraduate degree in mechanical bioengineering, received his master's degree and is on track for medical school.

But that can wait. Whitaker is putting all of his energies into making it in the NFL. In his mind, it's not a matter of if but when.

"I know I am going to get an opportunity," Whitaker told Yahoo Sports by phone this week, "and when I do, I am going to dominate."

If Whitaker fails, a lack of confidence won't be the culprit.

Larry Kindbom is an assistant at Wash U after having been the school's head coach for 33 years. He knows as well as anyone that the odds are stacked against Whitaker, who is not only one of his favorite players he has coached over more than four decades but also one of his favorite people.

Even as blown away as Kindbom has been over the past five years — watching Whitaker set goal after loftier goal, seemingly checking them off one by one — the coach can't help but be realistic about Whitaker's NFL chances.

"It’s a long, long, long shot to make the pros for a small-college player like Andrew," Kindbom said.

He should know. Wash U is by no means a pro-football factory. The program's last NFL player was Shelby Jordan, who played professionally in the 1970s and 80s. And Kindbom knows that football isn't likely to be Whitaker's only shot in life.

"Here’s the neatest thing: Four years from now we are going to be calling him Dr. Whitaker," Kindbom said.

Whitaker would disagree, though, saying "med school is on the back burner now." It's a fine line for Kindbom to ride, balancing his almost fatherly advice to him while watching Whitaker meet every goal he sets for himself.

Read the full story.

Click on the topics below for more stories in those areas

Back to News