Lions’ Wick ‘cool’ with hype over his sudden rise

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Cole Wick (89)

Detroit — Cole Wick’s hometown of Hallettsville, Texas, has a population of about 2,500. His graduating class at Sacred Heart Catholic High has 26 students. His college, Incarnate Word, didn’t start its football program until 2009 and didn’t produce any NFL players until this year.

So, after the rookie tight end impressed during the Lions’ offseason program, he’s dealing with something completely new.

“I’ve never been really overhyped before, never had the chance to be hyped up about anything, so it’s cool,” he said. “I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to do the things that I’ve done.”

Wick said he’s not paying attention to the hype, but there’s no doubt it’s real. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end will have an opportunity to make the 53-man roster as Eric Ebron is the only safe bet to contribute significantly in 2016.

Tim Wright is already on injured reserve. Brandon Pettigrew is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in December. Matthew Mulligan is a good blocker, but has produced minimally as a receiver in his career. Then, there are the three undrafted rookies, Wick, Adam Fuehne and Ben McCord.

In minicamp last week, Wick was the best of the bunch. Coach Jim Caldwell said Wick “has a good sense of body control” and “pretty good hands,” but the coaches want to see how he performs when the pads come on.

Wick said he’ll return to Incarnate Word — the lesser-known school he describes to teammates simply as being in San Antonio — to train before training camp begins next month. Then, he’ll have the chance to deliver on the newfound hype.

Twitter @jkatzenstein

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