The Hokies entered the 2017 recruiting cycle looking for offensive depth and additional talent at the skill positions.
With the addition of athlete Terius Wheatley out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Hokies not only add another playmaker into the fold in Blacksburg, but one with professional pedigree to boot.
The 5’11” 200 lbs. Terius Wheatley is the son of former Michigan Wolverines legend and NFL running back, Tyrone Wheatley. The elder Wheatley rushed for 4,178 yards and 47 touchdowns in his collegiate career in Ann Arbor, and was the 1992 Big Ten Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year. He went on to have an accomplished professional career as well, rushing for 4,962 yards and 40 touchdowns over his 10-year career with the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders.
If Terius Wheatley is even half the player that his father was, the Hokies will be very, very pleased that he signed with Virginia Tech. Terius played both sides of the football in high school, and was a special teams player as well for Pioneer High School. He likely projects to the offensive side of the ball at the collegiate level, and has expressed interest in getting a shot at running back.
Additionally, he told Virginia Tech radio’s Mike Burnop on National Signing Day:
"“I’d like to play running back, and I’d like to play right away if I can.”"
It will become more clear in the coming months whether or not Wheatley is ready to figure into the running back mix right away, but if the coaching staff decides that he is a fit at the position, there is a chance that he could indeed see some action early in his Virginia Tech career.
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With the graduation of Sam Rogers, the retirement of Marshawn Williams, and the transfer of Shai McKenzie, it would appear that competition at the position would be wide open. Junior Travon McMillian and senior Steven Peoples will likely continue to factor into the rotation moving forward, but Wheatley, fellow freshman Jalen Holston, and redshirt-junior D.J. Reid are just a hanful of other names who could find themselves in the mix as well.
On film, Wheatley certainly looks the part. He surely possesses the size to get the job done, but with that size, he shows great speed, power, and agility; the latter of which is not always seen out of backs with his frame.
Additionally, Wheatley shows adequate hands out of the backfield in his highlight film, and could potentially figure into the mix as a receiving back our of certain offensive sets, which is a staple in Justin Fuente’s system.
Regardless of whether or not Wheatley plays right away in 2017-18, it is hard to envision him not making an impact on the Hokies throughout his career in Blacksburg. An exciting prospect with much to offer, it will be fun to watch his development to see if he can fully realize his potential as an impact player at Virginia Tech.