Walnut Ridge’s Wheelwright the state’s top 2013 wide receiver?


Walnut Ridge WR Rob Wheelwright

Depending upon whether you consider Middletown phenom and Buckeyes commitment Jalin Marshall a wide receiver or not, Rob Wheelwright from Walnut Ridge High could be regarded as the best wide receiver prospect in Ohio’s Class of 2013.

Depending upon whether you consider Middletown phenom and Buckeyes commitment Jalin Marshall a wide receiver or not, Rob Wheelwright from Walnut Ridge High could be regarded as the best wide receiver prospect in Ohio’s Class of 2013.

He has the big-time offers to back up that assertion:
Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Boston College, Indiana, Purdue
Minnesota, Syracuse, Michigan and just recently, Pittsburgh. But
Wheelwright is still interested in checking out nearby Ohio State and
he’ll be attending a junior day gathering in Columbus on Sunday.

“It will be my first time just going up there to see everything,”
Wheelwright said. “I haven’t been up there for a while, since they
played Wisconsin.”

Despite his impressive offer list, Wheelwright has rather modest expectations going into his visit.

“I’m just expecting to get to see some of the coaches, talk to
some of the coaches and see more of the facilities,” Wheelwright said.
“And just get an understanding about their program. I’ve always had a
lot of interest in Ohio State since I am from Ohio. I’ve always been an
Ohio State fan.”

And he seems genuinely interested in finding out, from this point
on, where the recruiting process will lead him and whether Ohio State
is indeed in the picture.

“I just really want to take my time and see what schools have the
best interest in me and just to get the love from the coaches there,”
Wheelwright said. “So I’ll have a better idea about where I stand with
Ohio State (Sunday).”

Ideally, he wants to give equal consideration to all schools that have offered.

“Most of the schools are kind of at the same level of interest
right now just because I haven’t sat down and taken any unofficial
visits yet,” Wheelwright said. “There’s some schools that show they want
me more and have more contact with me but for me there’s really no
school that has stood out from the other schools yet.”

Ohio State would certainly be a school he would equally consider
if the Buckeyes offered. But Wheelwright is not expecting them to pull
the trigger today.

“Not really,” Wheelwright said. “I’ve been asked that question
but I don’t really have anything to say because I haven’t thought about
them asking me that.”

How would he feel if the Buckeyes did surprise him and offer while he was on campus?

“I’d be very excited,” Wheelwright said. “I’d be very excited to get an offer from Ohio State (Sunday).”

There hasn’t been any real dialogue between Wheelwright and the
new Ohio State coaching staff up to this point to make him think along
those lines.

“I get letters here and there from most of the coaches just
introducing themselves, saying what they’ve did and what have they
accomplished and stuff like that,” Wheelwright said. “And I haven’t
spoken to (Urban Meyer) on the phone but I think he sent a letter to

Wheelwright’s thinking could change just a bit if Urban Meyer himself would make a big impression on him during his visit.

“Yes, it would,” Wheelwright said. “I just feel like he’s one of
the best coaches to have coached the game and I’m really excited to be
meeting him (on Sunday).”

Almost a decade ago, Wheelwright’s older brother, Ernie
Wheelwright, made a late impression on Jim Tressel when he turned in a
standout performance in the North South All-Star game in June of 2003. A
current member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football
League, Ernie Wheelwright opted to play for the University of Minnesota
after he graduated from Walnut Ridge.

A three-year starter for the Golden Gophers, Ernie Wheelwright –
who caught 159 passes for 2,434 yards and 26 touchdowns in 44 career
starts to rank third in school history in receptions and receiving yards
and second in touchdown catches – gave his younger brother solid
recruiting advice.

“He just said to make sure (the recruiting process) doesn’t
pressure you too much and just make sure you have fun because this is
probably one of the only times that everybody is going to want you like
this,” Wheelwright said. “And he just always told me to make sure
whatever school I go to is the best for me and I won’t regret anything
about it once I go there.”

At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Rob Wheelwright also runs the 200 open and completes in the long jump in track for the Golden Eagles.

“Like Ernie, I’m usually the biggest receiver,” Wheelwright said.
“I just like to use my size a lot and I’m very quick off the ball. And
I’m just real good at getting open.”

More than anything now, Wheelwright (who wears No. 4 to represent
the number of boys in his family) is excited about his senior season.
The Scots, who last won the Division III state championship in 2007,
finished 9-3 last season.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “Hopefully this year as a team we
can make it to the playoffs and do a lot better than we did last year.”

In the meantime, the recruiting process for one of Ohio’s top
wide receiver prospects – whether it includes the Buckeyes or not – will
take care of itself.

“Sure there’s interest in (Ohio State), I’m still interested in
them,” said Wheelwright, who currently sports a 3.0 GPA. “I’m just
waiting to see how it all plays out.”

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