We continue the series with a reserve offensive tackle.
Jake Wheeler, Junior (RS), Offensive Tackle, #61
Twitter: None active that we could find
Collegiate Stats: N/A
High School Stats (Senior Year): N/A
Recruiting Ratings: Two stars by Rivals, Scout
High School: American Heritage
Hometown: Hollywood, Fla.
High School Highlights:
How'd he get to College Park?
Jake Wheeler was teammates with at least four future D-1 basketball players at American Heritage, including University of Florida stud Kenny Boynton. In fact, Wheeler’s got a nifty little b-ball highlight tape above, and was recruited for both basketball and football coming out of high school. Wheeler had offers from Florida Atlantic and Columbia, among others, to play basketball, but decided he had more potential on the football field, and signed with the Terps – the only school to offer him a football scholly, as far as we know. Scout reports that he did receive interest from Alabama and Miami, however.
Wheeler is the third-oldest of ten Wheelerites, including older brother Jared – an offensive guard at Miami. Like so many others from Florida, Wheeler was recruited to the Terps by Don Brown, who was able to create a pipeline of sorts from your favorite football peninsula to College Park before bolting to Storrs.
At American Heritage, Wheeler started at both left tackle and defensive end, while spending some time at tight end and outside linebacker. His athleticism led some to believe he would play tight end at Maryland, but in his big frame the Terps’ coaches saw promise on the offensive line. Wheeler played in the 2009 Florida North-South All-Star game.
After redshirting in 2010, Wheeler played in all twelve games in 2011 as a back-up offensive tackle and occasional special teams contributor. Last year, he served on the scout team.
Playing in twelve games in 2011.
Beating out Michael Dunn and Moise Larose for the back-up right tackle position.
Nick Klemm is the starter at right tackle, and the senior looks pretty secure in that position. Behind him are three players, all of whom stand about an equal chance of being his back-up. Walk-on Michael Dunn is in a position battle with Wheeler for second on the depth chart, with true freshman Moise Larose behind them. However, all true freshmen start at the bottom of the depth chart, so it's impossible to know exactly where they stand just yet.
Wheeler played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman, but that changed drastically last year, and he desperately needs a rebound season to recover his career. The good news for him? Maryland's O-line depth is atrocious, so he's about one injury away from seeing major playing time.
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