UCLA - Eric is a good athlete with the ability to play several positions in the secondary ... He enters Fall camp in competition for playing time at the strong safety position ... Has played both safety spots as well as cornerback during his career ... Needs to improve his consistency ... Has recorded a team-best 38.5-inch vertical leap and a team-best horizontal jump of 10-6.5.
1998 - Whitfield started the first two games of the year at free safety and played in 11 of 12 contests (he did not play at Miami) ... On the year, he made 27 tackles, including five each against Texas and USC and four versus Houston, Washington State and Washington ... He appeared in eight games on defense and played at least 25 defensive snaps five times, including 63 at Houston and 58 versus Washington State ... Also participated on the kickoff coverage, punt return and punt coverage units.
1997 - Whitfield did a fine job as a key reserve ... On the year, he made 31 tackles, fourth among returnees, including two sacks ... Made three tackles for losses, including two sacks, and also intercepted one pass and broke up three others ... Made a career-high 10 stops against Tennessee, tying Brian Willmer for the team lead ... Also had five stops, including one for loss, at Texas, four, including one behind the line, versus Arizona and three versus Washington and Houston ... Recorded his sacks against Texas and Arizona ... Made his interception against Houston ... Played in all 12 games on either defense or special teams, starting the first two ... Played at least 40 snaps six times - 79 versus Tennessee, 51 against Arizona, 46 versus Oregon State and 45 against Texas and Houston.
1996 - Appeared in eight games on special teams and four (Northeast Louisiana, Washington, California and Stanford) on defense ... Played 15 snaps versus Stanford and 10 at California ... Made five tackles on the year, including three versus the Cardinal and two against the Golden Bears.
1995 - Did not appear in a game during his first season.
HIGH SCHOOL - Lettered two years in football for coach Mike Allen as a defensive back, wide receiver and running back at Banning High in Wilmington, CA ...Lettered as a tenth grader at Gateway Christian High in Harbor City, CA for coach Harold Larson ... Named Blue Chips All-American and rated as the No. 6 secondary prospect in the West as a senior in 1994 ... Member of the Super Prep All-Far West team ... Selected All-West by Tom Lemming ... Named to the second-team of the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream team ... Chosen to the first-team Daily Breeze, Wave-News, News-Pilot and LA Times all-star squads ... Three-time all-league selection and team captain ... Two-time all-city pick ... Credited with over 100 tackles, two fumble recoveries and five interceptions as a senior in 1994 with a long return of 81 yards ... As a junior in 1993, he led all South Bay defensive backs with eight interceptions ... Named first-team All-South Bay by the Daily Breeze ... Second-team all-area selection by the LA Times ... Voted team's most valuable defensive player ... Recorded 63 solo tackles and scored three touchdowns on interceptions, including a 60-yard return vs. Dorsey ... Also played running back and rushed 44 times for 508 yards and five touchdowns ... At wide receiver, he caught 15 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns ... In 1992, as a sophomore at Gateway Christian High, he was team captain and named first-team offense by the South Bay Daily Breeze ... Voted Express League and team most valuable player ... Credited with 53 tackles, four interceptions, three caused fumbles and two touchdowns on defense ... At tailback, he rushed for 1,045 yards on 159 carries and 17 touchdowns ... Returned six kickoffs for touchdowns ... Also earned two letters in track for coach Mike Allen.
PERSONAL - Full Name: Eric Samuel Whitfield ... Parents: Samuel and Amanda Whitfield ... Born: January 17, 1978 ... Has one sister, Cynthia ... Lists Deion Sanders, Ronnie Lott and Eric Turner as players he admires ... Hobbies include swimming, bowling and running ... Played summer league basketball ... Spanish and Math are his favorite classes ... Earned spot on Director's Honor Roll in Winter 1996 with his 3.57 grade-point average ... Related to Atlanta Falcon offensive lineman Bob Whitfield ... History major.
Varsity Statistics - E. Whitfield
Tackles Year TT T-AT Sacks TFL 1996 5 5-0 0 0 1997 31 21-10 2-22 3-26 1998 27 20-7 0 0 Totals 63 46-17 2-22 3-26
Career Highs Tackles: 10 vs. Tennessee, 1997 5 vs. Texas, 1998, USC, 1998, Texas, 1997