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Whitney performed an annual 'hazing' ritual on Clark Kent, choosing him to be the one freshman hung up as a "Scarecrow" in the cornfields of Smallville. Whitney put Lana's necklace on Clark, inadvertently incapacitating him with meteor rock radiation. Lex Luthor rescued Clark, who then got back at Whitney by stacking his pickup truck on top of two others.
Whitney tried to apologize to Clark and get Lana's necklace back, but Clark coldly told him to go into the cornfield and find the necklace himself. Later, when Whitney was attacked by Greg Arkin, Clark rescued him. Over time, Clark and Whitney became less hostile toward each other. When Whitney grew distant following his father's heart attack, Clark encouraged him to open up to Lana. When Whitney tried to kill Kyle Tippet while under the control of Kyle's former friend Clark stopped him.
After losing his football scholarship, Whitney got mixed up with some former jocks with tattoos made of meteor rock that temporarily gave them the power to walk through the walls . However, when Whitney learned that they were planning to blackmail and potentially murder Lex Luthor, he told Clark what was happening, resulting in a confrontation in a car impound lot that resulted in the death of one of the jocks.
As Whitney's father's heart disease grew even worse, he was moved to hospital on a full-time basis. However, shortly before he died, Clark asked Lex Luthor to help Whitney's father fulfill a promise he had made that he would see his son play his first game with the Metropolis Sharks: Lex literally hired the entire team to play a game with Whitney as their quarterback while his father watched. George Fordman died shortly afterwards.
While going through his father's things after the funeral, Whitney came across his father's military medals from the Vietnam War, including one for his father saving three people. Whitney realized that being a football star isn't the only way to be a hero and impulsively decided to join the Marines.
He asked Lana to wait for him. Before he left, he made an honest apology to Clark for the way he had treated him and even asked Clark to look after Lana until he returned. With this, Clark and Whitney finally made peace and perhaps even became friends.