All-American tackle Bob Whitfield will give up his final year of eligibility at Stanford to turn pro.
“I may be young, but I’m not dumb,” he said.
Whitfield, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound junior who played at Banning High in Wilmington, cited financial struggle as one of the reasons for his decision.
Whitfield’s father died when the player was a sophomore in high school, and his mother earns less than $20,000 per year. He helps to support his 20-month-old daughter, LaNiece, who lives with her mother in Los Angeles.
In addition to his scholarship, Whitfield receives about $700 a year in financial assistance.
Whitfield ranks as the seventh-best player in the draft and the No. 1 offensive lineman, according to draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. The first offensive lineman selected in the last NFL draft received a five-year contract worth $4.8 million with a $2-million signing bonus.