Thursday afternoon, Wayne State University (A Division II school located in Detroit, Michigan) announced that it has hired former Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley as its new head football coach. The Warriors are again bringing the former Michigan legend back to the southeast Michigan area.
Tyrone Wheatley returns to Michigan
As most Michigan football fans know, Wheatley is regarded as one of the greatest Wolverines of all time. In 1992, Wheatley rushed to the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award — carrying the ball for 1,357 yards and 13 touchdowns. Wheatley added 235 yards to his season, helping Michigan overcome Washington 38-31.
Wheatley’s coaching experience
Tyrone Wheatley has excellent coaching experience, though this will be his first stop as a collegiate head coach. In 2015-16 — the first two years of Jim Harbaugh’s tenure — Wheatley assisted the Wolverines to a 20-6 overall record. Wheatley also made many stops in the NFL — most recently with the Denver Broncos.
Tyrone Wheatley’s statements
Here is what the Warriors’ new head coach had to say after being hired (per Click On Detroit):
“I am beyond excited to welcome Coach Wheatley and his family to the Wayne State community,” Wayne State Athletic Director Erika Wallace said. “Coach Wheatley has a passion for developing the student-athlete not only on the field, but off. His ability to mentor men, develop talent, and recruit will elevate our football program. I’m looking forward to watching his leadership as he guides our Warrior student-athletes into a new era.”
Wheatley continued, “First of all, I would like to thank Wayne State University, President M. Roy Wilson and Athletic Director Erika Wallace for the opportunity to lead a great university and its football team,” Wheatley said. “I am looking forward to coming home — as they always say, ‘There is no place like home.’ No matter where I have been, I’ve always tried to recruit the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. I am pleased, honored, and blessed to be back home and to coach at Wayne State University.”
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Four-star Michigan football target expected to commit soon
This four-star Michigan football target is about to announce his commitment.
The Wolverines are one of the five remaining teams for Brian Robinson, a blue-chip edge rusher from Ohio, who is reportedly close to making a college decision. Robinson, who was once a prominent four-star Michigan football target in the 2024 recruiting class, was initially strongly leaning towards Michigan, but now it appears to be more uncertain. His commitment would be a significant and unexpected acquisition for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.
Four-star Michigan football target Brian Robinson close to a final call
According to recent reports, Brian Robinson is nearing a decision and aims to conclude his recruitment within the next week or so. Robinson is currently ranked as the No. 131 recruit in the 2024 recruiting class. Given that the Wolverines have recently lost a substantial amount of talent on the defensive side of the football, especially at edge rusher, Robinson could be a major addition for Jim Harbaugh.
It doesn’t appear that Robinson is favoring the Wolverines right now, although Michigan football recruiting has seen significant changes recently, so anything is possible. At one point this year, it seemed highly likely that Ann Arbor would be Robinson’s eventual destination; however, his recruitment has become much more complicated in recent months.
If Jim Harbaugh can land Robinson, it would be huge for the 2024 recruiting class
The remaining schools in contention, aside from Michigan football, are Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Penn State. According to the RPM, Robinson’s preferred landing spot right now is the Kentucky Wildcats, with the Maize and Blue firmly in contention at the No. 2 spot.
As per the On3 industry rankings, Robinson is a highly sought-after four-star Michigan football target, ranking as the No. 131 player nationally, the No. 9 edge rusher in the 2024 recruiting class, and the No. 5 player in the state of Ohio.
Latest buzz on impressive Michigan football freshman wide receivers
Here is the latest buzz from Schembechler Hall regarding a few rising stars — these Michigan football freshman wideouts are impressive!
The Wolverines’ wide receiver corps is led by Roman Wilson — the NCAA’s leader in touchdown catches (6) — and Cornelius Johnson. That said, below these two talented veterans are a number of impressive Michigan football freshman wideouts, who recently earned some high praise from wide receivers coach Ron Bellamy ahead of this weekend’s Big Ten conference opener against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0).
Michigan football freshman wide receivers continue to impress
Unlike the previous two seasons, the Michigan football offense is really starting to air the ball out often this fall. Aside from an unimpressive game against Bowling Green, junior quarterback JJ McCarthy has been dominant this year, which is a trend he hopes to keep up during this week’s matchup against Rutgers.
Ron Bellamy gives the latest ahead of this week’s Big Ten opener
Among this year’s wide receiver corps are a number of Michigan football freshman standouts, who have been turning heads throughout fall camp and even into the first few games of the season. Yesterday, Ron Bellamy — Michigan’s WR coach — gave the latest on these rising star Wolverines.
“They’re doing well,” Ron Bellamy said of the Michigan football freshman wide receivers. “They’re doing well — you can’t treat them like freshmen. I tell them all the time, ‘Whoever we play, they’re not going to look across and say, ‘Oh, this is an 18-year-old freshman here; take it easy on him.’ No, they are going to be attacking like they would any other player.’ That has to be the mindset, and we don’t treat them like freshmen. Those guys are diligent about their craft. That’s the thing I like about them. And that’s why they’re getting opportunities. Those guys are constantly wanting to learn and making sure that they’re dialed in and detailed in everything that we do.”
Keep an eye out for these freshmen when Michigan football takes the field
Ideally, Michigan football won’t need to rely on these freshman wideouts just yet; however, if you start to see names like Semaj Morgan, Fredrick Moore, and others getting some notable in-game reps, don’t be too surprised. From the sound of things, it seems that the Wolverines are confident in many of these rising stars, and are looking to continue developing them into the next generation of elite offensive skill players to wear the Maize and Blue.
Top analyst has an interesting message for Michigan football fans
Top analyst Joel Klatt has some interesting thoughts about Michigan football heading into the Wolverines’ Big Ten opener this weekend.
Last weekend, the Maize and Blue won their third-straight game of the 2023 season, downing the Bowling Green State Falcons by 25 points at home. While JJ McCarthy and the offense struggled, the Wolverines are still undefeated heading into Big Ten conference play this weekend. Still, with Penn State and Ohio State playing great football right now, top college football analyst Joel Klatt has an interesting message for Michigan football fans — he thinks that folks in Ann Arbor should be “antsy” right now.
Joel Klatt has an interesting take for Michigan football fans
Sure, last weekend’s victory over Bowling Green wasn’t pretty; however, Ohio State and Penn State have both seen their fair share of struggles so far this year. In fact, even outside of the Big Ten conference, schools like Texas, Alabama, and even Georgia have not been looking like their usual selves lately. Still, Joel Klatt says that there should be some tension among the Michigan football fanbase due to recent lackluster play during the non-conference slate.
“With what’s going on in the Big Ten East, namely Penn State and Ohio State? I would feel antsy if I were you, Michigan fans,” Joel Klatt explained on his show, ‘The Joel Klatt Show.’ “The one thing that will derail your season faster than anything else is if JJ McCarthy starts to turn the ball over. That’s why I would be antsy.”
“I know you’re going to run the football fine, I really do. I’m pretty confident that the defense is going to play really well. The one unknown is how efficient can JJ (McCarthy) play? Now, he was really good a year ago until late. Obviously, the TCU game (last year’s College Football Playoff semi-final), it got a little bit loose, and guess what? They (Michigan football) lost.”
Thoughts on what Klatt said about the Wolverines heading into Big Ten conference play
Now, I am going to disagree with Joel Klatt a bit here in a few aspects. First off, Michigan football has not proven that it can run the football consistently yet, and the offensive line is yet to mesh. This idea that the rushing attack will be elite this year because it was last year is simply not true — it’s a hard thing to admit, but fans are yet to see the same bruising Wolverines that they did over the past two seasons. Not that it won’t develop, but so far, Michigan is not nearly as dominant on the ground as it was in 2021 and 2022.
Additionally, Klatt said that JJ McCarthy was good in 2022 until late in the season, which is really not that accurate. JJ McCarthy was not seen as a great quarterback until the Ohio State game hit — not to say that fans didn’t see the talent, but he struggled to really get things going consistently until the final three games of the year, including the Wolverines’ CFP loss.
Right now, Michigan football fans should not be too concerned, if you ask me. That said, as the weeks go by and the Penn State and Ohio State matchups get closer, we need to see more from the Wolverines. The fact of the matter is that, with Michigan’s schedule this year, the Maize and Blue can have many shortcomings and still begin the year 9-0 — it’s the final three games that will truly define the 2023 team, so long as they can avoid upset beforehand.
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