Nashville, Tenn., junior athlete Vic Wharton will certainly have plenty of options to choose from when the time comes to pick his destination for college.
Vic Wharton grew up a Notre Dame fan.
The 6-0, 175-pound prospect has offers from Cincinnati, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, however, there has never been any question about where the dynamic playmaker wants to continue his football career.
“If Notre Dame offered, I’m 100 percent positive I’d commit to them,” Wharton said. “Of course, I’d have to talk with my parents about it, but I’ve been telling them the whole time that that’s where I want to go.”
The coveted prospect transferred to Christ Presbyterian Academy High School after playing his freshman season at Knoxville Catholic High School, the same program that produced former Notre Dame standout and Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Harrison Smith.
“I kind of grew up with him and played football with his little brother,” Wharton said. “He’s been a great influence on me, and I’ve always looked at him as a role model. He’d come to our games and practices when he was home and sometimes he’d bring [former Irish standout receiver and Tennessee native] Golden Tate with him. It was really cool.”
The Volunteer State standout’s allegiance to the Irish is not just a recent phase. He was a Notre Dame fan long before his days at Knoxville Catholic High.
“I’ve just always have loved the South Bend gold,” he said. “I grew up watching them play football and love their tradition and the atmosphere they create there. My old high school bases their team on Notre Dame. I just think it would be cool to go there and be Fighting Irish again and slap that ‘Play Like a Champion Today’ sign. I love coach Kelly and think he’s doing a great job with the program. They’re getting great recruits and it would just be awesome to play with all of them.”
The talented recruit has never been to South Bend on a visit, but wants to change that this upcoming season.
“I’m pretty sure I will be taking a visit there,” Wharton said. “I definitely want to. It’s not that far from home.”
But until the Irish step up to the plate with an offer, he has a short list of schools that are currently standing out.
“Right now, I would say that Cincinnati, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt would be my top three out of the schools that have offered me,” Wharton said. “It really doesn’t matter right now. I’m just going into my junior year and there’s time for a lot of things to happen, like if Notre Dame offers. If that happens, it won’t matter who my top three are. I’d be done.”
The speedy prospect is aware that he will be spending the next four-to-five years of his life at the school he chooses, so he wants to feel welcome at the program.
“I’m just looking for the coaching staff to show me a lot of love,” he said. “I want to be comfortable being there and feel like the coaches really want me to come to the school. I’ll definitely have to have a good vibe when I go there about everything.”
Wharton was a force for the 12-2 Lions during his sophomore campaign, splitting time at quarterback, running back, receiver and cornerback. He rushed for 700 yards along with 600 yards receiving totaling 17 trips to the end zone. On defense he registered 42 tackles and one fumble recovery. He also had seven scores on kickoff returns and punt returns combined.
His future position will most likely depend on his college destination.
“It really all depends on the school,” he said. “Vanderbilt wants me to play both. Cincinnati and Ole Miss wants me to play in the slot. Alabama wants me to play cornerback because they like their guys to man up and everything. Tennessee likes me at cornerback, too. Whatever the school wants me to do is fine with me. I don’t have a preference.”
The only thing Wharton has a preference on is where he attends school. And that choice is obvious.