Former MTSU running back Reggie Whatley is close to reaching a deal with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent.
The deal has not been officially signed though, as Whatley still needs to workout for the Titans and sign the actual contract, if it is offered after a physical.
Whatley has that workout with the Titans on the weekend.
MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill announced via Twitter Sunday that Whatley had originally reached a deal, tweeting out, “Congrats to Reggie Whatley on signing with the Titans! Proud of U! #E.A.T.T.”
Coach Stockstill had a chance to talk to his former player Sunday after a deal was originally reported. Whatley has yet to sign any deal, but has a chance to be signed after his potential workout with the Titans.
“We talked (Sunday),” said Stockstill. “He’s thankful for the opportunity. That’s all you can ask for, to continue to chase your dream.”
Before Whatley works out with the Titans though, he has a workout with the New York Giants on Thursday, May 7.
Whatley will be traveling to New York for the workout. If Giants officials choose to sign the former MTSU running back following his workout, it would cancel his visit with the Titans.
The Rome, Ga., native ran the ball a career-high 113 times in 2014, amassing career-highs in yards (767) and touchdowns (7). In his career as a Blue Raider, he ran the ball 281 times. He finished his career with 1,666 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.
“Reggie has been an underdog all his life,” said Stockstill of the 5-foot-7 running back. “He came here and people probably didn’t think he could be the player he became. He has a great competitive spirit and heart.”
Should Whatley strike a deal with the Titans, Whatley would join a crowded backfield, including Bishop Sankey, Shonn Greene, Dexter McCluster, Antonio Andrews and Lache Seastrunk.
It got even more crowded after this past week’s NFL draft. The Titans selected Alabama fullback Jalston Crowder in the fourth round, and Minnesota running back David Cobb in the fifth round.
“They’ll get a great team player and teammate,” said Stockstill about Whatley’s personality. “He’ll do whatever they ask. He’s humble. He’s got a big chip on his shoulder. They’ll love his personality and love being around him.”
While it could be difficult for Whatley to get playing time as a running back for the Titans or Giants, he could get a chance on special teams, specifically as a return man.
The 5-foot-7, 179-pounder returned the ball 27 times last season for 692 yards, an average of 25.6 yards per return, with his longest return being a 59-yarder against Southern Miss on Oct. 4.
“To me, he’s got to make the team on special teams because of his size, as a punt or kick returner and a gunner,” said Stockstill about Whatley’s prospects with the Titans. “He could potentially be a third-down back in passing situations.”
Whatley will hope to achieve success in the NFL like former Blue Raiders Erik Walden (Colts), Phillip Tanner (49ers) and Benny Cunningham (Rams).
Cunningham was the most recent Blue Raider to achieve significant playing time in the NFL after being picked up by the Rams in 2013 as an undrafted free agent.
“It says that you can accomplish all your dreams and goals here like you can anywhere else,” said Stockstill of his program. “You want to go to the NFL, we can do that. You want to graduate, we can do that. Whatever you want, you can get it right here.”
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