Donte Whitner keeping last name

Updated: April 30, 2014, 6:59 PM ET
By Pat McManamon |

[+] EnlargeDonte Whitner
Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty ImagesDonte Whitner won't be changing his last name to Hitner.

BEREA, Ohio -- There will be no Donte Hitner in the NFL.

After pondering changing it, Cleveland Browns safety Donte Whitner has decided to keep his name.

What dissuaded him was the notion of having to change all his legal documents, from car titles to mortgages to credit cards.

"All for one letter change?" Whitner said Wednesday at the Browns' second day of minicamp. "I'd rather not."

Signed from the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent, Whitner had considered the name change to further his image as a big hitter. 

But then he talked to Chad Johnson, who for a brief time became Chad Ochocinco, and Johnson explained the complications of a name change.

"I think the majority of people will call me 'Hitner' regardless," Whitner said.

Whitner smiled, though, at the thought he could simply tell people that the 'W' in his last name is silent (a la wreck and wrinkle).

"I can do that?" he said with a chuckle. "Maybe I'll do that then."

Pat McManamon

ESPN Cleveland Browns reporter



Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.