Michigan a Non-Factor for TJ Wheatley?

Scout's army of recruiting experts have crisscrossed the country capturing exclusive video profiles of the country's top football prospects. Welcome to Scout Spotlight! This edition focuses on Buffalo (N.Y.) Canisius tight end Tyrone Wheatley Jr. Does Michigan even have a chance at this legacy recruit?

The finish line is in sight for Tyrone Wheatley Jr.

The four-star tight end has his official visit slate set and is entering the home stretch of his recruitment intent on giving each of his finalists a legitimate chance to earn his pledge.

“He just took the trip out to USC this past weekend,” Wheatley’s father Tyrone Sr. said.  “He enjoyed it. As West Coast kid, he enjoyed it.”

“Right now (his list) is just USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Alabama. All the visits are set up. Alabama is the first one coming back off the dead period. Then it’s UCLA, and then Oregon. Then there might be a possible Auburn."

A glaring omission from that group of finalists is Michigan. Wheatley Jr. is a lifelong Wolverine fan and his father is one of the greatest players to ever wear the uniform. But the subpar season and subsequent coaching coach in Ann Arbor have rendered those connections moot.  The question at this point is, is it even possible for the Maize & Blue to earn a spot on the talented youngster’s visit list after a coach is named?

“You know, we have not spoken on that,” the elder Wheatley stated. “You would’ve thought that we would, but at this point you have to deal with the here and now.  You have to deal with who’s calling and who’s talking now. He is my son and that’s my alma mater, but blood is thicker than water. I have to take care of him and give him the best possibilities and options available.”

The possibility of a big name coach like Jim Harbaugh or Les Miles taking the helm has been enough to keep the interest of a number of recruits piqued, but that’s not true of Wheatley Jr.

“The name doesn’t matter to him,” his father said.  “I think the process of what went on at Michigan… I think that kind of raised an eyebrow for him.  It’s just how things were handled and I think the timing of it all. But the name of the coach… I don’t think that’s the determining factor.”

“I don’t know how much ground they have to make up. I’m not for sure.  We have not talked about the (possibility of adding) Michigan (to the visit list) yet.”

But all is necessarily lost for the Wolverines. The elder Wheatley is confident that if Michigan can build its recruiting class with talented prospects like Mike Weber and Chris Clark, it can get back in the mix.

“I think that would have more of an impact than the head coach,” Wheatley Sr. said. “I think seeing who he’s playing right beside… who is going to be in his class… I think that would have more of impact than who the head coach is.”

Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Wheatley in the coming weeks.


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