James Whitley
No. 27, 25
Position:Defensive back
Personal information
Born: (1979-05-13) May 13, 1979 (age 42)
Decatur, Illinois
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Norview (Norfolk, Virginia)
College:Michigan
Undrafted:2001
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games:25
Tackles:30
Player stats at PFR · ArenaFan.com

James Lavell Whitley (born May 13, 1979) is a former American football defensive back. He played college football at Michigan. He played professional football in the CFL, NFL, and AFL from 2001 to 2008.

Early life and college career

Born in Decatur, Illinois, Whitley attended Norview High School in Norfolk, Virginia.[1] At Norview, Whitley started at both quarterback and cornerback; he made the USA Today All-USA second team as a senior in 1996.[2][1]

Whitley played college football for the University of Michigan from 1997 to 2000.[1][3] As a freshman, he played for the undefeated 1997 Michigan Wolverines football team that defeated Washington State in the 1998 Rose Bowl to win a national championship.[4] In December 2000, he was dismissed from the team following an arrest for carrying a concealed weapon.[5] During his four years as a player for Michigan, Whitley had 187 tackles including 13 for loss, six interceptions, five sacks, and 21 punt returns for 172 yards.[3][6]

Pro football career

After not being selected in the 2001 NFL Draft, Whitley signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2001. He played in 14 games with five starts and made 27 tackles, one fumble recovery, one sack, and four special teams tackles.[6]

On February 26, 2002, Whitley signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Rams.[6] In the 2002 and 2003 seasons, Whitley played in 16 games with one start for the Rams with 32 tackles, four passes defended, and a fumble recovery.[7] During a 2003 offseason mini-camp, Whitley injured his right foot and was on injured reserve early in the season. The Rams released Whitley on December 2, 2003.[6] Whitley signed with the Green Bay Packers as a free agent on December 10, 2003.[6][7][8] Whitley played in the Packers' final three regular season games and both playoff games primarily on special teams.[6] After playing in six games in 2004, he was waived by the Packers in October.[6]

He signed in November 2004 with the Carolina Panthers. However, he did not appear in any games for the Panthers.[9] In 2005, Whitley returned to the Alouettes, making 22 tackles and one interception in nine games. He later played in three games for the BC Lions of the CFL, making nine tackles.[10] From 2007 to 2008, Whitley played for the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League. He had 44 tackles, eight passes defended, a fumble recovery, and an interception in two seasons.[11]

Post-football life

In 2009, Whitley was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at her friend's apartment in Pittsfield Township, Michigan.[12] In December 2009, Whitley pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of aggravated assault prior to his trial on more serious sexual assault charges. He was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to undergo anger management counseling and complete 100 hours of community service.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b c "James Whitley". MGoBlue.com. University of Michigan. Archived from the original on November 1, 2001. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "NORVIEW'S PILOT: WHITLEY THIS TWO-WAY STARTER WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES FOR A TROPHY". The Virginian-Pilot. November 8, 1996.
  3. ^ a b "James Whitley". Sports Reference CFB. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  4. ^ "FORMER NORVIEW STAR IS SMELLING THE ROSES WITH MICHIGAN'S TITLE". The Virginian-Pilot. January 10, 1998.
  5. ^ Rosenberg, Michael (December 15, 2000). "U-M star arrested, dismissed". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on January 24, 2001. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "James Whitley" (PDF). Green Bay Packers. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2004. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "James Whitley". pro-football-reference.com.
  8. ^ "Secondary Gets Help: Whitley Signs With Packers". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. December 11, 2003.
  9. ^ "Panthers Sign Defensive Back". The Robesonian. November 11, 2004.
  10. ^ "James Whitley". Pro Football Archives. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  11. ^ "James Whitley". ArenaFan.com. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  12. ^ Cindy Heflin (February 20, 2009). "Former University of Michigan player James Whitley ordered to stand trial on sexual assault charges". Ann Arbor News.
  13. ^ "Former Michigan football player sentenced in assault case". AnnArbor.com. January 24, 2010.