Joe Gaiter: What does football mean to you?
Justin Whisenhunt: Football means everything to me. It’s my gateway from the outside world .I am able to share emotional experiences with friends that create memories that last forever.
Joe Gaiter: What are some of your fondest memories about Ramsay High School?
Justin Whisenhunt: I would have to say winning a state championship. The odds we had to beat some say it could not be done. We did not have a practice field or stadium so we ride a bus miles across town to practice if we can because the field we use is sometime occupied for events. We have four racks in a weight room. Yes four. We made something out of nothing.
Joe Gaiter: How would you describe your childhood?
Justin Whisenhunt: My childhood was pretty good. My parents kept me grounded and in sports which kept me out of trouble.
Joe Gaiter: When did you know football was what you wanted to do professionally?
Justin Whisenhunt: I started to figure that out really my junior year in high school. I started to gain offers and took football serious. I originally wanted to play baseball professional but all the offers I had was in football.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your recruitment experience?
Justin Whisenhunt: I was confused. I was committed to UAB my entire senior year but after winning state i had some power 5 schools reach out so I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I also didn’t want to stay in Birmingham to play being from Birmingham I felt I needed to leave the city to be the most successful. I flipped my commitment to Troy three days before signing day.
Joe Gaiter: Why did you choose Troy U?
Justin Whisenhunt: I chose Troy because of the Neal Brown and his staff and the way they had to program going. Almost beating national champion Clemson stood out to me. They treated me like family from the start and showed more love than any program recruiting me. Troy was 2 hours from home so it was a way to get away but not be too far.
Joe Gaiter: Troy U was 5-7 last season. What went wrong?
Justin Whisenhunt: We beat ourselves in a couple of those games last year . One play in some of those games and that record would be different. We weren’t discipline but trust me that has changed now. I contributed a lot, I played the entire season hurt from week 1 to be honest. The year did not go the way I wanted personally. I did not finish the season out playing I had surgery this offseason. I’m rehabbing now trying to get finish my career out on bang and help the team whatever way possible and when a championship.
Joe Gaiter: What are some of your career stats?
Justin Whisenhunt: Career stats 120 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble.
Joe Gaiter: What makes you such a great linebacker?
Justin Whisenhunt: I would not say great. I’m far from that. To be honest those stats do not show the real me. I been banged up forever but that’s no excuse. I got one year to make it right. I would say my advantage is that I’m football smart. This helps me play the play before the ball is snapped.
Joe Gaiter: What is your relationship with Head Coach Chip Lindsey and the amazing coaching staff?
Justin Whisenhunt: I have a great relationship with Coach Lindsey. He is one of the realest men I have been around in this profession. He is not only our coach but also like a second dad. It’s more than football with him. He and is his staff are about winning and I love that. We have this motto “ Whatever It Takes” and those guys are willing to do Whatever It Takes to win.
Joe Gaiter: How have you faced adversity this year?
Justin Whisenhunt: I have being hurt all year and trying to keep my confidence has been hard. Rehabbing has been hard. I realize I can only control what I control. I now leave everything to God and put in the work and let it control itself.
Joe Gaiter: How important is giving back to the community?
Justin Whisenhunt: That’s very important to give back to the community. It’s important to let them know you care about them just as much. It shows appreciation for the fans and a way to interact and they get to know you not just as a ball player but personally.
Joe Gaiter: What is your major and how will you use it?
Justin Whisenhunt: I major is political science. I look to go to law school and go into politics and help make change in the world.
Joe Gaiter: What is life like for you off the field?
Justin Whisenhunt: My life is a normal college athlete life. I take classes, workout eat, same ole routine nothing spectacular.
Joe Gaiter: What do you want your legacy to be?
Justin Whisenhunt: I just wanted to show the kids from Birmingham that there is a different route. You don’t have steal and kill. A lot of people from the city look up to me and I feel like I have made them proud.
Joe Gaiter: Who are some athletes we need to keep on our radar?
Justin Whisenhunt: Carlton Martial, KJ Robertson, and Kaylon Geiger.
Joe Gaiter: What’s your untold story?
Justin Whisenhunt: I have always been counted out since high school. Through all my injuries here, all the adversity, watch how this all play out. I got a chip on my shoulder.
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