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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Weekly Update: Michigan recruiting notes

By Chantel Jennings & Tom VanHaaren

The weekly update is a look into Michigan recruiting: A FAMILIAR NAME

Legacy commits always get people excited. Last week, the Wolverines picked one up from 2015 offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. (Philadelphia/St. Joseph’s Prep). So it’s no surprise that we’re hearing a lot of questions about the possibility of a second legacy commit in the 2015 class -- tight end Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) were to commit as well.

For some kids of former players, it’s their dream to attend their father’s alma mater, but for other kids, that kind of familiarity breeds a sort of distance and desire to create his own path. Wheatley seems to be somewhere in the middle.

“I like Michigan. It's a great school, I love their coaching staff,” Wheatley said. “I'm not positive that's where I want to go. It's kind of like Syracuse, my dad coached there [and] I know some of their players, their facilities, their offense and defense. I'm staying open, but it's nice to know I could go there and just jump right in.”

He holds offers from Syracuse, North Carolina, Penn State, Washington, Alabama and Michigan. Of those, he has visited Penn State, Syracuse, Alabama and Michigan and plans to visit Washington this summer.

It’s no surprise why the Wolverines are recruiting the physical tight end. At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, he’s the same size, but already 20 pounds heavier than the Michigan 2013 tight end commit, Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central). But Wheatley is still two years younger.

At the Sound Mind Sound Body camp he stood a head above most kids. A lot of times when a young player is that big, he appears awkward and gangly, but Wheatley looked very versatile and athletic as he ran through drills. Because of this, Michigan is being very open with where Wheatley could fit in to the Wolverines’ game plan.

“They said I could play whatever I want,” Wheatley said of Michigan. “I spent a lot of time with Coach [Dan] Ferrigno and the tight ends and that was nice. I got to watch some film and broke down some film from last year. They showed me what I'd be doing in their offense.”

He was also at the spring game this year, which gave him the opportunity to see even more how offensive coordinator Al Borges intends to use the tight ends in an offense with a full-time pro style QB.

“I got to go down to the spring game and see [Devin] Funchess make some big catches which was great,” Wheatley said. “I also got to see their new indoor facility because I moved right before it was completed, so it was nice to see all the offices.”


Another player that Michigan coaches got to see at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp was 2015 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (Anaheim, Calif./Servite). The coaches invited him to come out to the Wolverines’ camp in Ann Arbor, but he was unable to attend.

Out of that camp, he also got interest from Ohio State and an offer from Illinois. Being from the West Coast, he already had interest from UCLA, USC and Arizona State.

At 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, he’s a good size for a rising junior, and he said that’s what most college coaches have talked to him about.

“My combination of size and speed,” St. Brown said, “it's hard for defensive backs to cover me because I'm so big.


Defensive back Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/Saint Edward) will be at the BBQ in the Big House at the end of the month, but we probably won’t be expecting a commitment at that point.

The 2015 DB really wants to make sure that he makes all his visits before making his verbal and he won’t have all of his visits in by the end of July. However, he’s still very high on Michigan and hopes to visit during the season -- that visit might be one to watch.

His teammates, 2015 wide receiver/defensive back David Dowell (Lakewood, Ohio/Saint Edward) and 2015 running back Andrew Dowell (Lakewood, Ohio/Saint Edward), who were at Michigan’s camp with Crawford, didn’t receive invites to the BBQ. However, the coaches did spend some time with the two at the camp and they’re names to keep track of as more offers go out in the 2015 class.