The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 99

2020 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE Cornell Wheeler Could Be A Knockout At Linebacker Wheeler tallied 295 tackles in his final two years of varsity football at West Bloomfield (Mich.) High, where he was coached by former Wolverine Ron Bellamy. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND 52 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2020 CORNELL WHEELER LINEBACKER 6-1 • 220 WEST BLOOMFIELD H.S. WEST BLOOMFIELD, MICH. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 245 16* 6 ✪ ✪ ✪ 821 35* 22 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 12* 15 * Ranked as an inside linebacker HONORS • Honored as the MLive 2019 Defen- sive Player of the Year in Detroit. • Earned the 2019 Anvil Award from State Champs Network, which is awarded to the best lineman or line- backer in the state. • Selected as a 2019 Detroit News Dream Team member. • Tabbed as an Associated Press Divi- sion 1-2 first team All-State selection as both a junior and a senior. • Was a Detroit News All-North team honoree as a junior and a senior. • Was one of 10 finalists for the Lega- cyMI Player of the Year Award. • Helped lead West Bloomfield to a 10-2 record and a state quarterfinal appearance in 2019. The defense al- lowed just 11.8 points per contest. • His team reached the state title contest in 2017. RECRUITMENT • Co m m i t t e d t o M i c h i g a n o n Sept. 25, 2018. • Also had offers from Indiana, Ken- tucky, Michigan State and Minnesota, among others. • Recruited by former safeties coach Chris Partridge. STATISTICS Year Tackles TFL Sacks FF FR 2019 130 10 3 2 1 2018 165 12 — 2 3 BY JOHN BORTON Cornell Wheeler leaves a strong impression when he plays linebacker — just ask the impressed and dented. Wheeler, the 6-1, 220-pound backer for West Bloomfield (Mich.) High, arrives quickly and violently, accord- ing to former Wolverine Ron Bel- lamy, his head coach. Bellamy recalled a showdown against Oxford High a couple of sea- sons ago, in which his team found itself temporarily against the ropes. Oxford attempted a game-changer, shifting from its typical offense to an option-heavy look. For a while, it worked with un- nerving effectiveness. Then Wheeler showed up. "I remember they were having a lot of success," Bellamy recalled. "And then the quarterback kept it one time. Cornell hit the quarter- back so hard, he knocked the kid out of the game. And that was a wrap. "That was the end of the little experiment that they did. We wound up winning the game by 17." W h e e l e r h a s been helping West Bloomfield wrap up wins for three and a half years now as a starter. He became the irresist- ible force his last two seasons. He rang up 12 tackles for loss out of 165 stops as a junior, while re- covering three fumbles, forcing two more and deflecting a pass. As a se- nior, he registered 10 tackles for loss among his 130 takedowns, with three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. All the while, he recorded those stats with a ferocity that projected well to the next level, Bellamy stressed. "He's a physical linebacker," the coach assured. "He's a traditional Big Ten linebacker, a kid that's in- stinctive and loves the physicality part of football. "He's a kid that's all in. Michigan fans will love the fact that he's a kid that's going to embrace them. While the objective as always is to win on Saturdays, he's a kid that's al- ways going to make sure he'll be representing for the fans and the people who watch Michigan football." Wheeler has a knack for being where the ac- tion is, and he's not some- one to meet up with if you have the football in your hands, Bellamy added.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - March 2020 Issue