Photo by Zakee Wheatley
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Notre Dame Offer Changes Recruitment for 2021 ATH Zakee Wheatley

March 24, 2020
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2021 Archbishop Spalding (Md.) athlete Zakee Wheatley‍ released a top eight earlier this month of Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Pitt, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wisconsin. 

Notre Dame cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens offered the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder on Tuesday during a FaceTime call. 

But can the Irish crack into Wheatley's top group following the offer? 

"Definitely," stated Wheatley. "Notre Dame is very prestigious and a great school. I have to keep building a relationship with them, but there will probably be changes to my top eight soon.

"I want to enjoy the process and know the coaches more, but Notre Dame is definitely going to be one of my top schools." 

The four-star prospect has gradually been learning more about Notre Dame over the last few months. Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees watched one of his basketball games earlier this year and Mickens has been in contact since getting the job. 

"I've been talking to him and other members of the staff," Wheatley said of Mickens. "They came to my school and a basketball game.

"We talked about the virus, family and football, which is when he offered me." 

Mickens might not know Notre Dame inside and out yet, but his personality has impressed Wheatley so far. 

"He's definitely cool and down to earth," explained Wheatley. "I'm building a relationship with him and he told me he's only been at Notre Dame a couple months. It's been cool so far.

"I'm looking forward to building a relationship." 

Maryland and Penn State are two schools that have been recruiting the Maryland native the hardest, but a few schools have also entered the picture recently. 

The Nittany Lions are a school the Irish will have to overtake to land a commitment as Penn State has hosted him four times in the last year.

"They've been recruiting me hard since day one when they offered me last year," Wheatley said. "They don't have to say much and I keep in contact with them. I'm just continuing to build on that relationship and it's strong." 

When it comes to a position, Wheatley is being recruited as an athlete by some programs because of his ability to play receiver. 

He's not set on one position, but Wheatley admitted if he had to choose, it would be defensive back. 

"Whatever gets me on the field the fastest and whatever the coach or team needs me at," said Wheatley. "I've been working a lot at defensive back. I feel defensive back gives me the most upside, so if I had to choose, I would say defensive back, but it doesn't really matter." 

 
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