One of the most promising players that attended the Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour in New Jersey was Tyrone Wheatley. The sophomore from Manilus (N.Y.) Fayetteville Manilus Senior, the son of the former NFL running buck by the same name, has already picked up multiple big time offers.
"Syracuse wasn't really looking at me but I had been going to their camps and I knew all the coaches because my dad was on the staff there," said the 6-foot-6, 235-pound Wheatley. "Rutgers started sending me mail and then Syracuse offered. It's right down the street from where I live. Coach Shafer's son was the quarterback at my school but he just graduated. I hang out with him sometimes. I know all the guys up there. We run on the track and play catch on the field.
"The next one was Penn State," he said. "I was talking to Coach Hixon on the phone and said he finally got the whole staff to sit down and watch my film. He said Penn State wanted to offer me. I talked to Coach O'Brien also. I went on a visit down there. The coaching staff is pretty nice, especially Coach Johnson. I enjoyed talking to them and the facilities are nice. They have those sanctions and they might not be lifted by the time I would be there as a freshman so that's something to think about. I still have a lot of time left to think that stuff over.
"Michigan came in next," Wheatley said. "I was talking to my recruiter, Coach Mallory, but I also talked to Coach Ferrigno, the tight ends coach, and he's a really nice guy. I was making my rounds calling coaches and I talked to them after a their meeting. They said the watched my tape and wanted to offer. I talked to Coach Hoke and Coach Jackson. I actually lived in Ann Arbor for five or six years so I went to games and everything and it was nice. The coaches are nice and they seem like good guys. I enjoy talking to them. My dad playing there hasn't affected me or is really a big deal to me.
"I called Coach Jordan from North Carolina just to tell him I was interested," he said. "I also talked to Coach Gilmore. He saw that I was blowing up on twitter and he had everyone sit down and watch my film. They were really impressed and wanted to offer. They want me as a defensive end.
"For Alabama, I was at a conference and called Coach Williams to say hi and everything and he put me on the phone with Coach Saban," said Wheatley. "He told me about the school and said they were offering and I had a spot down there at Alabama. I was pretty excited. I've been there before and really like the facilities and the coaching staff.
"The Washington offer was the latest one," he said. "I know that they're some young guys and play fast and physical. I called out there to let them know I was interested. My dad played with Coach Tuiasosopo. I guess the staff broke down my film and the next time I called to talk to them they offered me."
Wheatley has the unique advantage of being able to consult his father about the college recruiting process.
"He's just kind of sitting back," Wheatley said of his father. "When I started playing football we would work out and lift together but now he doesn't really even have time because his is working. He's really letting me do my own thing. He gives me pointers here and there. If I do an interview and say some things, he'll tell me to be careful. It's all me right now. Everything so far has just been all me. He is telling me to just enjoy the process because that this is what I worked for and hopefully things will keep going well."
Plenty of colleges have been trying to stay in contact with Wheatley.
"I hope a lot more coaches get in touch with me and actually recruit me," he said. "There are some big names that have offered me but I don't want coaches to be shy because I'm open to everyone right now. I'm not even thinking about where I'm going to play. I'm just trying to enjoy everything, work hard and hopefully be the best player in the country.
"I talk to Akron and Baylor a little bit but I don't know if any offers are going to come any time soon," said Wheatley. "I think I'm going to try to go down to Miami for their camp over the summer. Hopefully I'll get an offer from them when they see what I've got."
Wheatley is a very talented player that could play on either side of the ball.
"Right now, I want to play tight end in college but I still have a lot of time and I could still grow," he said. "I don't know how big I'll get once I start putting on more muscle so I'm going to keep playing both. Syracuse and North Carolina want me as a defensive end. Alabama wants me as a tight end and Michigan, Penn State and Washington said I cold play both.
Not many BCS players come from upstate New York but Wheatley isn't worried.
"If I play good enough and if I'm as good as I think I am I don't think they'll have a hard time finding me up here. The Rivals camp was great. There were a lot of big time names down there and some really good offensive linemen. I hope it gets me out there more than I already am and gets the coaches flowing up into New York state and gets this thing rolling."