Tyrone Wheatley and Jim Harbaugh (image via Freep)
Running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley, Sr. has reportedly accepted a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where his former boss Doug Marrone has been hired as the head coach. Wheatley coached with Marrone at Syracuse from 2010-2012 and then with the Buffalo Bills in 2013-2014.
Wheatley was an All-American and a former 1st round pick from the University of Michigan, and he went to high school in Dearborn. After playing stints with the Giants and Raiders, he also coached in Dearborn before moving on to college. He was hired at Michigan in 2015 when Jim Harbaugh returned to Ann Arbor, and he did a solid job coaching the position. At the time of his departure, he ranks as the #6 recruiter in the country, according to 247 Sports. He was the primary recruiter in the Detroit area and had a big hand in landing Donovan Peoples-Jones and Ambry Thomas. He was also credited with mending some broken fences with Detroit (MI) Martin Luther King, which helped reel in Thomas and 2016 signee Lavert Hill.
Michigan is in somewhat of a bind at this point. With some early enrollees already on campus (including Peoples-Jones and Thomas), nothing can be affected there. However, Michigan continues to recruit running backs, including O’Maury Samuels and Kurt Taylor. The departure could affect their recruitments, and the Wolverines need a difference-maker at running back. With some potential targets already off the board (Eno Benjamin, Najee Harris, Cam Akers, etc.), this shortens the list of potential late additions or replacements.
Hit the jump for some thoughts on his departure.