I can remember playing football at recess with my friends and pretending I was Michigan tailback Tyrone Wheatley. Thinking back on that, it seems pretty surreal that I am now watching his son get ready to enter his senior season as a highly recruited tight end.
Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is a different type of player than his father was, but he’s a talented player who is only going to improve.
Wheatley has the size to play tight end at the college level tomorrow. Once he gets going, he can really get moving, but he’s not a quick twitch athlete.
Wheatley is a massive target that can get to footballs that others can’t because of his height and reach. He’s a size mismatch for anyone who tries to cover him. He’s also not an easy player to tackle that can run through arm tackles.
He’s not a player who is going to threaten with his speed over the top of a defense, but can be an effective player on short or intermediate routes.
He has the potential to be a dominant in-line blocker. He doesn’t play against strong competition and often physically dominates defenders as a blocker. The one issue with Wheatley is the consistency in which he finishes his blocks. There are often times he doesn’t sustain the block as long as he should.
My Dad had a simple mantra when it came to blocking: hit, fit, and finish. It’s impossible to get the finish without the first two. Wheatley will hit, but he doesn’t always fit and therefore he can’t finish his block. It all has to do with technique and if he can improve on it, he has the chance to be a dominant player as a run blocker at the next level.
Wheatley will at times line up in the slot for his high school, but he should be playing as a tradition in-line “Y” tight end at the next level.
It’s almost fitting that Wheatley is more of a traditional tight end. He’s the kind of tight end that used to block for his father at Michigan. I don’t think Wheatley will ever put up the receiving numbers in college to garner All-American honors, but he could possibly developing into one of the best blocking tight ends in the nation.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach). Jamie is also the former Sr. Editor, Digital Content and News for theScore.com.