Rob Wheelwright: 2013 Wisconsin Football Recruiting Class

Eric Albrecht/Columbus Dispatch

In preparation for National Signing Day, we are highlighting a few of the marquee recruits expected to sign with Wisconsin on Feb. 6. Stay tuned to B5Q all week for more coverage of Badger football's 2013 class.

Class
Position
Height
Weight
2013
WR
6-2
175 lbs
School
Composite Ranking
Columbus (OH) Walnut Ridge HS
3 stars (#351 overall - #48 WR)

Go to Wisconsin Football Recruiting Hub >>

Over the past several years, Wisconsin has brought in wide receivers ranging from the big names (Nick Toon, for instance) to to the complete unknowns, perhaps playing a different position altogether (Jared Abbrederis comes to mind). Rob Wheelwright from Columbus, Ohio, settles somewhere in between those two. Naturally -- and especially given the Badgers' lack of WR production aside from Abbrederis this year -- Wisconsin fans hope Wheelwright can match the output of those two players.

Wheelwright is the No. 29 player from Ohio this year, and he's also the No. 75 wide receiver in the nation. As a senior, Wheelwright hauled in 48 passes for 874 yards and nine touchdowns leading the Scots (no lie) by wide margins in each category. What's exceptionally enticing is Wheelwright's surge in yards per catch -- those senior numbers equate to 18.2 YPC, up from 11.7 as a junior (45 catches for 528 yards). Clearly, Wheelwright is capable both before and after the catch, a result of his sharp route-running and elusiveness. His hands are also strong, and Wheelwright is versatile enough to contribute as a returner -- he was Walnut Ridge's leading kickoff returner with six returns for 207 yards (34.5 per return).

Fun fact, not to be ignored -- Wheelwright's older brother, Ernie, starred at wide receiver for Minnesota from 2004 to 2007 and amassed nearly 2,400 yards and 26 touchdowns. Rob Wheelwright's coach at Walnut Ridge, Byron Mattox, has said that pedigree presents significant promise:

"He has a love for the game," Mattox said. "His brother, I know, has given him some tips, but he has all the intangibles too. He was voted as a captain going into next year by his teammates. He is a high energy guy on the field, brings that to practice and just wants to get better and be great."

Mattox also has compared Wheelwright to Toon, a comparison that should jump off the page given their similar height.

RankingsRankings

Rivals: (#49 WR - #21 in OH)
Scout: (#28 WR - #218 overall)
ESPN: 79 (#70 WR - #30 in OH)
24/7: 87 (#75 WR - #29 in OH)

Verbal commitment Verbally committed April 29, 2012

Running backs coach Thomas Hammock recruited Wheelwright, who played his decision relatively close to the vest. With offers from Wisconsin, Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse and West Virginia -- not to mention interest from a half-dozen other schools, including Michigan State and Ohio State -- Wheelwright had more than a fair share of suitors.

Yet according to Mattox, Wheelwright had been favoring Wisconsin for a while before he made his verbal commit last April.

Multimedia Video Highlights

Wheelwright also plays basketball for the Scots:

Statistics Statistics

REC YARDS AVG TD RUSH YARDS AVG TD KR YARDS AVG PR YARDS AVG
SENIOR 48 874 18.2 9 2 9 4.5 1 6 207 34.5 8 223 27.9
JUNIOR 45 528 11.7 8 2 66 33 2 13 344 26.5 10 51 5.1
SOPHOMORE 19 269 14.2 2 0 0 0 0 5 243 48.6 1 9 9.0
FRESHMAN 1 11 11.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Honors Honors

2012 First Team All-Ohio Division II

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