Levonte 'Kermit' Whitfield of Orlando Jones High, stands between fellow high school football prospects Tony Stevens of Orlando Evans and Denver Kirkland of Miami Booker T. Washington on the sidelines at Doak Campbell Stadium prior to kickoff of the Florida-Florida State game last month. (CHRIS HAYS/ORLANDO SENTINEL / November 24, 2012)
As Levonte "Kermit" Whitfield boarded an airplane bound for Los Angeles this morning, he did so with a heavy heart and plenty on his mind with concern about his grandfather, who has been very ill.
Whitfield, however, says he will use it as motivation, the same way he said he has always approached situations whenever faced with adversity. Whitfield will be in the Southern California area this week to participate in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson. The game is Friday (9 p.m. EDT, NFL Network).
"I feel real good about playing in the game ... great experience," the Orlando Jones High wide receiver/return specialist said Saturday night.
Also selected to play in the game from the Orlando area is Ray Lewis III of Lake Mary Prep, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound RB/DB committed to the University of Miami. Lewis is the son of NFL linebacker Ray Lewis II of the Baltimore Ravens.
Whitfield (5-9, 160), who had expressed a bit of dismay upon being overlooked for the marquee U.S. Army and Under Armour All-America games, was happy to be selected for the Semper Fi contest, which is in it's second year and hosted by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Whitfield, who pledged to Florida State last summer, has had an impressive career at Jones, during which he has also made all-American status as a track sprinter. Whitfield currently holds the distinction of being the fastest high school sprinter in the country after winning several national challenges this past track season.
He will participate in both football and track, along with his cousin, current FSU redshirt Marvin Bracy, who attended Boone High in Orlando.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.