Cycs' Whitlock picked for inaugural game

C.C. Whitlock passed for 1,537 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for 706 yards and seven TDs last season.
C.C. Whitlock passed for 1,537 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for 706 yards and seven TDs last season.

Chester High School's football team is still making news and the season hasn't even started.

On Monday, Cyclones coach Victor Floyd announced that wide receiver Gene McCaskill has committed to Kentucky.

Tuesday, Floyd announced that quarterback C.C. Whitlock has been selected to play in the ESPNU High School All-American Game on Jan. 5 at the Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.

"This is a great opportunity for him to play in this game, which is modeled after the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, Texas,'' Floyd said. "This is the first, so it gives him the chance to be a pioneer.

"C.C. has put in the work the last three years and has earned this opportunity.''

Whitlock (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) was The Herald's All-Area Football Player of the Year last season. He passed for 1,537 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for 706 yards and seven TDs. He is being recruited nationally as a defensive back.

Floyd said Whitlock has 36 firm offers and the list includes Clemson, South Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU and Michigan.

Summerville wide receiver A.J. Green, who's verbally committed to Georgia, was also picked for the game. He and Whitlock are the only South Carolina players on the roster.

Other players who have accepted invitations to participate include Jermie Calhoun (RB, Van HS, Van, Texas), Will Hill (DB, Saint Peter's HS, West Orange, N.J.), Julio Jones (WR, Foley HS, Foley, Ala.) and E.J. Manuel (QB, Bayside HS, Virginia Beach, Va.).

"This is pretty big,'' Whitlock said. "I'll get to play with the best players in the country. I was surprised when I found out I'd be playing in the game. I still want to make the Shrine Bowl and represent South Carolina.

"I'm open to all of my offers until the end of summer. I'll knock the list down to eight schools, then five for official visits. I have no favorites. I'm going to base my choice on where I'll get a chance to win a bowl game and the environment of the school.''

The game is a new ESPN owned-and-operated annual all-star football competition spotlighting the nation's top high school seniors. It will be broadcast nationally on ABC.

The players are being chosen by national recruiting analysts and talent evaluators from ESPN Scouts, Inc.

Whitlock is on ESPN's Top 150 watch list. He is ranked the ninth-best cornerback in the nation by and the fourth-best player in South Carolina by, a site run by Jim Baxter dedicated to high school sports in the Palmetto State.

"The ESPNU High School All-American Game will give players from across the country the opportunity to play alongside one another, while providing fans a glimpse of the future college and possibly NFL stars of tomorrow,'' Vice President and General Manager of ESPNU Burke Magnus said in a press release. "We look forward to growing this all-star game into one of the country's premier sporting events for amateur athletics, while also giving even more prep athletes an opportunity to showcase their talent on a national stage.''

A total of 80-84 players will be invited, with all players having the opportunity to also participate in skills competitions, which will be televised at 7 p.m. Jan. 4 on ESPN2. ESPNU will provide coverage of the event throughout the week, including team practices.

Players who have accepted

(More players to be added)