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Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is no longer with the Michigan football team, a move that surprised his father, legendary Wolverines running back Tyrone Wheatley.

Wheatley, a redshirt junior tight end, made the decision Thursday, a day before the start of camp. It was his decision to leave the program, a team spokesman said Thursday night.

While the move caught his father slightly off guard, Wheatley, who was the running backs coach for two seasons under coach Jim Harbaugh before returning to the NFL to coach running backs for the Jacksonville Jaguars, is fully behind his son.

"He made the decision, and I support him. Nothing more, nothing less," Wheatley told The Detroit News Thursday night. "I told him, 'You’re 21, you’re a grown man. You know what’s best for you, and I support you.'"

Wheatley Jr. (6-foot-6, 265 pounds) missed spring football this year with a broken foot. He was expected to be healthy for this season.

Wheatley Jr. played in 11 games last season and caught three passes for 26 yards, but was being used primarily as a blocker. In 24 career games with the Wolverines, he had six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown.

It is unclear where Wheatley Jr. will transfer. His father has been tied up with Jaguars camp and they haven’t had much time to discuss his next step.

“I haven’t really spoken to him,” Wheatley said. “He said what he’s going to do, and I’m going along with it. At the end of the day, I told him he doesn’t have to discuss it or talk to anyone about it. I support him. For me, family is first.”

achengelis@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/chengelis

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