Big-body Wheatley Jr. makes big play in UM practice

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
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Michigan tight end Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (8)  stretches with fellow players during team practice at Ford Field.

Detroit – Last week, Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh made it clear there was no way Tyrone Wheatley Jr., an enormous 6-foot-6 and 291 pounds, would ever move to the offensive line.

Wheatley is the type of big-body blocking tight end the Wolverines need to replace A.J. Williams, and he’s skilled as a receiver. In the Ford Field practice Saturday, Wheatley made a one-handed reception from early-enrollee quarterback Brandon Peters for a 75-yard score.

Jake Butt (6-6, 250), the Big Ten Tight End of the Year last year, said he feels small around young tight ends Wheatley and Zach Gentry, the 6-7, 244-pound former quarterback.

“I stand next to Gentry and I feel short and I’m like 6-5 and a half,” Butt said. “And then Wheatley, you look at him, he really is huge, and then you see him out there making plays like that. He is a big boy, no doubt about it."

Wheatley is the son of former Michigan running back standout Tyrone Wheatley, currently the Wolverines’ running backs coach.

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