Keona Wilhite adds to the list of Edge players that UW has gotten from the state of Arizona, including Bralen Trice and Lance Holtzclaw. Wilhite comes from Salpointe Catholic in Tucson, Arizona, the same high school as Matteo Mele.
Wilhite is a long Edge player at 6’5” and 245 lbs. 247Sports ranks him as the #81 defensive lineman while Rivals has him as the #23 Weakside Defensive End and is a 4-star recruit there.
He committed to Arizona on June 19 after visiting them the previous weekend. He had also taken official visits to UCLA and Oregon State, plus offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Nebraska, and BYU. But UW continued talking to him. On October 2nd, he decommitted from Arizona and came up to watch UW play Oregon on October 14. He was impressed by the atmosphere at that game. “The atmosphere was great, the stadium even before the game started was pumping. It was amazing.” And that was what convinced him to commit to UW. “After that game, that experience and seeing the team and atmosphere, that settled it for me. I left that visit knowing I wanted to be at Washington.” He committed to UW on October 23.
Wilhite did not play varsity football until his junior season and even then he only played in 6 games. This season, playing opposite of 5-star Elijah Rushing, he made the AZPreps 6A First Team All-Conference after ending his senior season with 54 tackles including 18.5 TFL and 8 sacks. Here are some highlights from his senior season.
Highlights from saguaro, season didn't end the way we hoped, but it was a great season! #LancerNation @SCLancerNation @CoachEricRogers @adamgorney @BlairAngulo @ChadSimmons_ @Rivals @247Sports @On3sports pic.twitter.com/KCjAT7Gi33— Keona Wilhite (@keona_wilhite34) November 25, 2023
UW is losing ZTF and (not officially, but likely) Bralen Trice at the Edge position. They did recently add BJ Green II, the grad transfer from Arizona State. UW also has Zach Durfee, Jacob Lane, Lance Holtzclaw, and Maurice Heims, so he will have time to continue to develop-which is one of the reasons that he choose Washington. “I love the development program for their edges,” Wilhite said. He loves to study film from some of the NFL’s best pass rushers. “I believe committing to Washington will help me reach my end goal of the NFL.” Wilhite stuck with his commitment even after the announced departure of position coach Eric Schmidt to San Diego State.
Welcome to Montlake, Keona!