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Wheeler joins U family

BOSTON -- My flight just got into frigid Beantown an hour ago -- not in time for me to listen in on offensive lineman Jared Wheeler's live announcement on 790 The Ticket. But in case you haven't heard already, the 6-6, 305-pounder chose the Canes over Vanderbilt as expected.

JarredwheelerI caught up with Jared and his dad as they were leaving the studio. Apparently, this decision wasn't such of a slam dunk as many of us thought it might be. Jim Wheeler said his son was torn until his mother gave birth to the Wheeler's 10th child -- John -- last Sunday. "I really just wanted to stay close to home," said Jared, who is second to Jenna, a sophomore at the University of Florida, among the Wheeler siblings.

"With the new baby John being born I wanted to be there while he was growing up. Family comes first for me."

Vanderbilt nearly did, too, for Jared. Jim Wheeler said the Commodores were making a hard push, visiting as late as Monday. But Jim said his son had his mind made up. "It was a tough decision," Jim said. "It was close."

Jared said he had a little fun making his announcement on the radio Saturday. First, he asked the show host to pick up a Vanderbilt helmet. After a pause, he said he told him "keep it as a gift."

The Hurricanes are certainly relieved Wheeler -- a good student who has a 4.1 GPA and 1070 SAT score -- Jared_wheelerhas decided to stay home. His addition brings more depth to an offensive line position in dire need of it. Aside from Brandon Washington (6-5, 330) and Jermaine Johnson (6-6, 310) who are scheduled to begin classes Jan. 20 and participate in spring ball, UM now has two more offensive lineman coming in the fall with Wheeler and Fleming Island's Cory White (6-4, 240). The Hurricanes, who are up to 20 commitments, are likely going to add two to three more linemen in the coming weeks. Wheeler said he's not sure where he'll play once he arrives. The good news is he has experience playing guard, center and tackle.

In Wheeler (a Rivals 3-star recruit rated the 7th best player in Broward by The Miami Herald) Miami not only gets a unique athlete -- but possibly an in roads at American Heritage. Jared's father, a former defensive tackle at Hollywood Hills High who played with Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez as a teenager, is a middle school football coach at the school. Jared said Miami has already begun to sending mail to his younger brother, Jacob, a 6-7, 240-pound defensive end and tight end for Heritage.

Wheeler, who benches 315 pounds and squats more than 450, said he's already begun getting to know his new teammates and said he speaks with A.J. Trump and Jason Fox frequently. He said he's excited to be joining the family.

"I'm excited -- they're on the rise," Wheeler said. "They're going to be a really good team. They got all those kids from Northwestern, who I know are great players. All they need are some big guys and I want to help out with that."

> I'll be at the Canes-BC game later tonight with a live blog. Forecast for today is calling for 6-10 inches of snow in the area. I may be here longer than I thought.


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How big is this kid? Manny states this kid is 6'6" but ESPN has the following:
Wheeler is a compact and powerful offensive tackle that may end up laying guard at the next level of competition. A short lineman at just 6 foot tall, he packs a punch with his three hundred plus pounds.
At any rate, I'm glad to see we are adding depth to the OL.

Good work Manny! You spoil this family don't take any crap from the Backup College latte sipping pansies

Welcome Jared! It's great to see a kid coming in with the right attitude and who is a true scholar (4.1 gpa). Time to hit the gym hard and build that strength/explosive power. 315 bench is respectable espec. for a 17 year old, but at 305 he could/should be putting up 400 with a good strength program and proper technique. Get proper hand spacing on the bar, arch the lower back, pull the shoulder blades together, take a deep breath, lower bar, and EXPLODE! I've put up 315 at 205 after a good 12 month strength program and being instructed on bench technique.

Rivals has him 6-5, 310 so my guess is that ESPN is mistaken

Manny you are always johnny on the spot with the info. Try and get us some more info on Bryce Brown and Xavier Nixon. Can UM and Shannon sway this guy to de-commit from FSU and get him to bleed Orange and Green?

Gene Wojciechowski, dan wetzel, and dave hyde must be scratching their heads right now? despite the effort from those columnists to ruin the Hurricanes credibility, the Canes kept racking up recruits like crazy!!! damn, those writers faces right now must be priceless!!!! and it'll just keep getting sweeter and sweeter for us!!!! good job Randy, ur recruiting ability is a motha'!!!!! can't say enough!

Nixon committed to UF KJ, just sayin'

i hear he is big, smart, agile, and soft = not much of an impact this year, but hopefully a good guard or center the following year, a great one after that!

My Bad I thought he went to FSU! Thanks for the correction buddy, we need that guy he is a beast.

WELCOME TO THE U Jared Wheeler.

Scout has him at 6'6" so he's probably a true 6'4"--plenty tall enough. Long arms, a big plus. Hope he has or will develop good feet. Technique trumps size.

Bench press . . . 315? That's not much for a guy who weighs about 300. But with appropriate weight training, and some time for his body to grow, he'll be doing 400 - 450 by the time he graduates.

Also, as an engineerring student he should be around for 4 years, and . . . maybe 5.

It's good to see that UM can attract some really good STUDENT-athletes. Afterall, academically, UM is not LSU, Louisville, WV, etc.

Let's hope we have some more positive recruiting news soon.

315? That's not much for a guy who weighs about 300. But with appropriate weight training, and some time for his body to grow, he'll be doing 400 - 450 by the time he graduates. --Nemo2002

Especially with a new S & C coach who puts proper emphasis on strength and power. All of our guys should get stronger except the few like Bosher and others who know how to coach themselves and develop muscle and strength on their own.

Welcome to the U! I think this kid can make a push to start, it's not like our current linemen are studs who can't lose their spots.

LaCane, you are nuts. Swasey is the man!?! What evidence do you have the he doesn't put emphasis on developing players by improving their strength and power? There is a reason all the NFL Canes come back to him, he built them up...

what's up with Billy Sanders??? according to rivals, his visit date to UCLA was yesterday, what have everybody been hearing about this dude, is he a silent commit already for the bruins???? officially there are no words of him decommitting to us, most news have been rumors only, i think if he didn't wanna be with us, he would've announced his decommitment already, wouldn't ya'll think?? the last thing any of this kids committed to us would want is the same drama Marve is having, so i'm hoping him being silent means he just wanted to check his options and really not backing away from us?

FYI guys... Wheeler is 6-6. I've stood next to the guy, he's legitimately that big. And, I'm not trying to play up Wheeler as a stud by any means. He's a very good high school player and a guy that will need to some time to develop. But I think he's less of a project than some of the other local offensive linemen UM has taken in the past. He's certainly coming in with more experience and ability than Chris Rutledge, Joel Figueroa, Chris Barney or Andrew Bain. I think if he can avoid injuries, he could be a Derrick Morse type guy -- plays as a sophomore and junior and really steps forward as a senior. Those other guys didn't do much at all in their careers.

Oh yeah, Welcome home! U will not be disappointed!

Go 'canes!


The Canes have been undersized and weak by D1 standards for years. Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings. NFL guys come back to train with each other and maybe take Swasey's explosion and conditioning training while doing their own strength and power training. These guys are pros and know what they're doing at that level. Its their job.

what's up with Billy Sanders??? I had it the other day in my blog... Sanders is likely going to stay on the West Coast. Larry Blustein spoke to his father recently who said Sanders is visiting UCLA this weekend and likes their film school. Not really that big a loss for UM -- especially if they get Dion Sims.

hey manny, since you're blogging right now, please, can you give me an answer about Sanders . . .

what's up with Billy Sanders??? according to rivals, his visit date to UCLA was yesterday, what have everybody been hearing about this dude, is he a silent commit already for the bruins???? officially there are no words of him decommitting to us, most news have been rumors only, i think if he didn't wanna be with us, he would've announced his decommitment already, wouldn't ya'll think?? the last thing any of this kids committed to us would want is the same drama Marve is having, so i'm hoping him being silent means he just wanted to check his options and really not backing away from us?

What's up Manny! Thanks for the info and have fun up at BC.

oh alright, thank you so much for the info Manny, hopefully we land Sims, marcus hall, peter white, bobby massie, daniel campbell, just being optimistic here!!!

Manny, Rumors on the other blob about Bryce...whats the word on the street??

Any news on an OC?


There are two ways (at least) to improve explosiveness: plyometrics and explosive weight training (e.g. power cleans). From what I've heard from numerous sources, Swasey focuses on plyometrics. He also doesn't do a lot of strength training. Plyometrics are a GREAT form of training, but you will only be as good as your weakest link. That is IMO the problem with UM's S & C program.

Calais Campbell was a good example. Prototypical frame and athleticism, but he was basically a weakling by D1 DE standards especially by his senior year by which time he should have been a monster with 4 years of proper, dedicate S & C training.

Yes, those are the two ways. But Swasey does not exclude weight training, he just emphasis plyos. The reason Calais Campbell got pushed around is b/c he isn't that good, not b/c Swasey doesn't know what he is doing. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but in this case I think yours is misinformed and horsecrap. the players we have had in recent years have simply not been that good, it is not as though Swasey suddenly stopped having the players lift weights...

A good summary of plyometrics:


In a nutshell, its about training the nervous system to be able to recruit the maximum number or muscle fibers in one explosive contraction. This ability COMBINED with tremendous raw strength / a good amount of lean body mass makes for explosive hitting machines and/or athletes who can stop, start, cut hard and get to top speed faster than others.

its nice too see UM gettin some big guys up front to build a wall around jacory & open holes 4 all the rbs! a few more like him or better will & we'll be set! GO CANES


any player, even a lousy one can put on muscle mass and strength. So why do so many Canes of recent years look soft and/or small (not all, but many like Glen Cook, DVD, CC, etc.?) And FYI what I'm espousing has been noticed by many other fans and bloggers.

Manny, Rumors on the other blob about Bryce...whats the word on the street?? Posted by: Big Moo | January 10, 2009 at 02:41 PM

A: Not much has changed. SI had a nice piece on him earlier this week talking about his deep religious beliefs and how he fasted for more than a week before first picking Miami. I think there will be more fasting in the coming weeks. He's said all along after committing to UM that he would stay take his visits. And he is. He's going to K-State this weekend according to reports. Ultimately, Miami gets his last trip in a couple of weeks. Micheal Barrow and Arthur Brown will have to close the deal then. Ultimately, it's a story you'll likely have to follow all the way up to signing day. It's pointless to call and interview him everyday. The reality is Miami is his leader and uless he gets blown away on another trip, he'll be here.

Manny, Any news on an OC? Posted by: Meyer breaks a blackberry ; Randy throws up a U | January 10, 2009 at 02:42 PM

A: I think we might start seeing real stories instead of hearsay after this week's American Football Coaches Association meetings in Nashville. It runs Jan. 11-14. I'm guessing somebody will end up talking about who Randy is looking at after that.

Another piece of evidence I'll offer you is our low YAC numbers by WRs and RBs. They don't break a lot of tackles or fight through enough arm tackles. Too often its catch or take handoff, run in open space, contact, and then go to turf.


i have to say Manny, after a couple of months of being oblivious to this blog and only knowing about Shandel's from the sentinel, you in 10 minutes surpass him for better coverage.

The best part of what I'm saying is that its easier to add lean body mass and strength, espec. over a period of years, then it is to teach speed and explosiveness, something So. Fla. players have in abundance. But it still takes care and attention.

i agree norm, if the NFL guys are coming back and working out with swasey he cant be that bad. besides there have been some rumors of swasey looking for a job in the NFL not sure of the validity of that one though.


Swasey is probably doing EVERYTHING right EXCEPT developing strength, power, and lean body mass. Football is a sport of VIOLENT COLLISIONS. You have to be built for it, or you won't survive. Reggie Bush and Percy Harvin are great examples of guys who were tremendous athletes, but who also developed strength, power and lean body mass over their college years to round out their game and become better players every year. It allowed them to become weapons in many different ways and to better take the punishment from week to week.

It is said but it isn't said enough. You are a dedicated writer and do a fantastic job of keeping us connected with our beloved U. Just wanted to give ya a much deserved pat on the back. No one can hold a stick to your hard work. I just wanted to say thank you.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Rob Chudzinski, the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, is interviewing with 49ers coach Mike Singletary for San Francisco's vacant offensive coordinator job.

Former St. Louis coach Scott Linehan and Indianapolis receivers coach Clyde Christensen interviewed with the 49ers on Friday.

Chudzinski was praised in 2007 when Cleveland's offense scored 402 points and finished eighth in the NFL, but his unit slumped to 31st this season, contributing to coach Romeo Crennel's firing. Chudzinski got a contract extension from Cleveland last season, but isn't expected to stay on new coach Eric Mangini's staff.

The 40-year-old Chudzinski is an up-and-coming offensive mind, but he was known for a pass-first philosophy with Cleveland quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, which might not fit Singletary's vision of a run-based offense in San Francisco.

The 49ers are searching for their seventh offensive coordinator in seven seasons after Singletary fired Mike Martz late last month. San Francisco's offense improved under Martz after being the NFL's worst in two of the previous three seasons

Sorry guy's I can't add to the work out stuff.

But, If I stuff 5 doughnuts, with right hand, in the morning.

I make sure to stuff 10 pizza slices at lunch, with my left hand.

Now, to followup on this right left stuff.

With this class of O-Line we may be looking

Power sweep right - power sweep left - bust'em up the middle then hit'em with play action.

Yea, looks good. Maybe we get that ole O-Line that we've been missing.

I like the numbers in terms of O-Line we're picking up.

This should bode well for The U's future.

I think just in numbers, at least, this could be one of best yrs in sometime (3 to 4 yrs.)

I agree our YAC yrds need to be picked up. That's strength and conditioning.

Good point.

Go Canes!

Agree with ya Norm, but to also address LACANE there are about 148230948 reasons why a handful of guys don't develop physically. They have small frames, don't work out hard, get injured consistently, etc. Plus, you are equating getting pushed around the field with not developing physically. Not sure you can just plainly say that b/c a lot of football is not just strength, it is technique, it is instincts, positioning, leverage points, etc. So if you have a bad strong player, they are still going to get pushed around. I am not saying Swasey can't do a better job, but I don't buy your argument + you have no evidence!?!?

Chudzinski's pass-first philosophy with Cleveland, may have more to do with OLine issues than philosophy. Yes, they have Joe Thomas, but even he was down this year.

Regardless, Chud's basically a Power sweep right - power sweep left - bust'em up the middle then hit'em with play action, type of guy. Shame his situation won't make sense for a return to The U.

Good info Canesjunkie.

Welcome to the Canes fam Jared!!!!!

315 is what he benches not his max bench.. he does reps of 20 at 315 lbs.

Caneiac, I agree with your "technique, instincts etc." argument.

I'll take that over "just big and strong".

Many years ago a guy by the name of Paul "bear" Bryant was known for having the smallest OLine and DLine yr in and yr out - but, I think his teams have won 8, maybe 9 or 10, National Championships.

He coached "technique."

Welcome to the Canes Brotherhood Jared!

LACanefan...I see your point, but in bringing up Harvin and Bush, you're isolating two of the verty best (at the college level at least) and those types of players will frequently stand out from the rest. Having said that, both didn't achieve a noticeable difference until their third year. As an example, I fully expect Spence to be mentioned in that same light by the time he's a junior. He's a superstar in the making and as guys like him continue to standout on the field, they look for other ways to improve their game. Building strength/mass is often one of those ways...especially when you're not very big to begin with. In mentioning YAC, UF only has two guys that qualify - Harvin and Tebow. Their other play makers are fast and rely on making people miss as opposed to accumulating yards after contact. Not surprisingly, Harvin and Tebow were standouts even as freshmen and again, when you're already a stud on the field, (1) its natural to focus on other things you can improve, and (2) probably likely that Harvin and Tebow actually sought out their S&C coach to get stronger.

Aside from Spence, I fully expect Aldarius Johnson, Laron Byrd, and Jacory Harris to develop physically as well. All three saw enough highs in their first year, that I expect more improvement on the field in year 2, which then paves the way for time in the gym to take the next step in year 3.

As another example, look at Allen Bailey. He's a hell of lot bigger now than he was when he came in as a freshmen. And now he's going into year 3. Who gets credit for that?

miami and cal 520pm espn classic part of bowl blitz watch glen cook #3 on d big reason we give up so many big runs oh yeah almost forgot atlcane is the man

Get some stones, Navarro. I'm heading to the game now. It aint that cold -- and don't worry, the snowstorm's bringing powder, not that wet stuff...
either way you shouldn't melt.

Eagles are gonna be mad after losing to Hahvahd. We better be on our game. And no foul trouble!

CANES baaby!

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