Name: Royal Whitaker
School: Olathe North
Royal Whitaker may easily be the most overlooked player of the Olathe North dynasty of the late 90s and early 2000s. Most people seem to forget that it was Whitaker who opened holes from the fullback position for Simone Award winners Darren Sproles and Maurice Mack. Or the fact that Whitaker was a two way starter who helped his team win two state titles.
Following a somewhat under appreciated junior season, Whitaker rose to become one of the best players in Kansas as a senior. Offensively as a fullback, he cleared the way for Mack’s 2,089 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. Whitaker himself added 422 rushing yards along with five rushing touchdowns. He also caught eight passes, four of which resulted in touchdowns.
Defensively Whitaker also dominated as a senior. He made 125 tackles during the 2001 season, 63 of which were solo tackles, including a team leading 6 solo tackles for loss. For his efforts, Whitaker was named First Team All-State Class 6A in 2001, in addition to earning a spot on the Kansas Top 11 team. He was also named a First-Team linebacker by KC Metro Sports. Whitaker went on to play at D-1AA Southern Illinois, where he was an All-Conference performer at the linebacker position.