Michael Whitfield | West Texas A&M University | TE/FB
Q: Tell us about your college career and what the recruiting process was like. Why did you choose West Texas A&M?
A: My career here at West Texas was a great experience in which I could not have asked for anything better. I was blessed to have played all four seasons and started three of them on the offensive line. Due to my athleticism and football intelligence, I played all the positions on the line and would often move depending on the situation at hand. Much as this process is now, my recruiting process to WT was exciting but stressful at the same time. I had a decent amount of interest coming out of high school despite being small. WT had been showing interest since my Junior year of High School. I knew that if they were to offer, I would go there without any doubts. WT had built an amazing and successful program and was highly regarded among the Division 2 realm. Adding on to the program, the criminal justice program as well as the environment itself were more than enough to seal the deal. I had loved WT since the first time I came into contact with it and still feel the same to this day.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: I would say my biggest accomplishment would be that I was able to start for multiple years as well as receive All- Conference honors both athletically and academically. I have always prided myself on handling business on and off the field.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at West Texas A&M?
A: The most important thing I learned from my coaches was that I can never give up in the face of adversity. They showed me that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and if I buckle down and keep working then I will reach that light. They taught me how to be a better man most importantly, they gave myself and my teammates the life skills needed to be successful outside of sports.
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football didn’t work out?
A: I was blessed to finish my undergrad in two years at West Texas. At the age of 20 I received my Bachelor of Science in Policing as well as graduated Cum Laude with a final GPA of 3.5. To add on to that, I just graduated this past December with a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice at the age of 22. I also graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA and have had the highest GPA in our football program for the last two seasons.
Q: What would your teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: My teammates would say that I am a reliable and hard-working individual. They know that I would give everything to them and my program and that I respect nothing less from them. They also can find trust in me, many of the younger guys come to me for advice or just to talk. I enjoy helping my brothers anyway I can because at the end of the day we are all in this together.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: My biggest challenge now is transitioning into a new position. I have always been smaller but extremely athletic for the OL position. To date I have managed to cut down from 285 which was my playing weight to 250. I train each day with the mindset that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Immediately following the season, I cleaned up my diet and began to be healthier overall. I also train with speed and agility coaches as well as former Quarterbacks of mine to continue to develop in my newly found position. Since the season I have played in two senior bowl games in which I played both at TE/FB. I was blessed to have started in both games on special teams and one game at H-Back. I have also stayed close to my faith as well as my family, I would not be able to achieve anything with God or my family.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: My biggest strength would be my intelligence on and off the field combined with my work ethic. I operate every day with the mentality of making me better and placing myself in the best possible positions to succeed. I am also very selfless, I have been and will always be willing to sacrifice myself for my brothers next to me, I have always understood that I am part of something bigger than myself and that I must do my part every day. I also bring the OL mentality to these positions, I am not afraid of contact and am always willing to grind it out in the trenches.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: The biggest influences in my life would be my parents, my biggest fear in life is to disappoint them. I wake up every day wanting to better myself as well as make them proud. They have always made sacrifices for the better of me and I choose to honor them in everything I do.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back”/”pay it forward” in your community?
A: I would visit schools with my Head Coach and meet with different classes who won our weekly character or reading contests. We would talk to the kids as well as take pictures and sign autographs. I also mentor a now third grader at one of the local elementary schools. I have lunch with him weekly and we talk about school as well as life. The goal of this was to help build his character as well as be a possible role model for a troubled youth. I am also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), while be a member of this committee athletes are responsible for community service projects. Through SAAC, I am involved with the local animal shelter, adopt-a-highway, as well as the make-a-wish foundation.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2019 National Scouting Combine and what were your expectations?
A: As stated earlier, I train with a certified speed and agility coach as well as strength coach. I also train with other teammates and work on skill development with them. Outside of working out, I strive to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. From sun up to sun down I am doing something football related whether it be working out, skill development, watching film, or just talking to God about my journey. My expectations will be what they have always been, I plan to put everything I have into the combine and will leave content knowing that I represented myself and my school with the best that I could.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: My ultimate achievement sport wise would be to continue to play this amazing game that I love. But in general, my biggest achievement would be to leave my legacy anywhere I go. Regardless of God’s plan takes me, I strive to make a difference in the would and impact lives for the better. Whether it be football or in my career, I want to show everyone that I will be successful and that my dedication to everything in my life would not go in vain. I hope to inspire others and show them that anything is possible with faith, family, and dedication.