A true story of determination and commitment, J.J. Whittaker has overcome injuries that caused him to miss the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons before breaking onto the scene in 2013 with the San Diego State Aztecs with an honorable mention all-Mountain West performance. Two knee injuries and a scapula problem cost him the first three years of his career for the Aztecs, but he returned to earn a starting spot in 2013, where he recorded 11 pass breakups and three interceptions. He should be vying for more post-season honors as a senior starter in 2014.
Coming out of Oceanside High School in Oceanside, Calif., Whitaker was heavily recruited as a three-star prospect. He was ranked the 118th best recruit at the athlete position in the nation after being a two-time first-team all-league and all-North County and all-CIF selection. Offensively, he rushed for 627 yards (on 68 carries) and caught 49 passes for 770 yards and totaled 11 touchdowns from both. Was also a three-year letter winner in basketball, earning first-team all-league and all-CIF honors as a senior.
Redshirted the 2011 season after tearing an ACL prior to the start of fall camp. Whitaker would then miss the 2011 season with a knee injury and the 2012 season after breaking his scapula in the team’s fall scrimmage. But in 2013, finally healthy, Whitaker took to the field and flashed the talent he’d shown as a high schooler. He had 32 tackles in 2013, including two for loss and forced three fumbles while starting all 13 games.