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

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
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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