Despite the current on-field struggles that have defined Morgan State through the first six weeks of what has turned out to be a tough regular season, Tyrone Wheatley has found a silver lining.
When the second-year head coach paces the sidelines or is huddled among his players, there is often a familiar face staring back at him.
That would be his son, Bears reserve running back Terius Wheatley.
“It’s good to have him around,” the elder Wheatley said recently about his son being part of the roster. “And the second thing I love about it is, he’s just my son.
Terius Wheatley, a fifth-year senior who transferred to Morgan State from Virginia Tech after only appearing in 18 games for the Hokies, has played in one game so far this season and is currently nursing a shoulder injury.
Nonetheless, the experience of father and son sharing football and life together has been invaluable, Tyrone Wheatley explained.
“He’s around, he’s in. He gets on my nerves a little bit because he wants to be a coach,” Wheatley said with a grin. I get to see him grow as a man. He left home, he went away to school (Virginia Tech).
“Now I can see that portion of his life and his football maturity and the conversations are different over the phone as they are in person because he gets to come into the (coach’s) room, draw on the board and talk. This is very, very special.”
The only other time Wheatley played the role of coach to his son was during Terius’ days as a high school track and field athlete in native Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the former NFL player would often provide tips on how to improve the youngster’s performance.
These days Wheatley can marvel and admire just how far they’ve both come to this point.
Tyrone — trying to establish himself as a head coach while Terius — winding down his collegiate playing career as a running back under the watchful eye of his father.
“It’s really fun having him around as running back,” he said.
Grambling State gets both ends of the true freshman quarterback experience
In two starts as Grambling quarterback Noah Bodden has shown promising potential and the all-too-familiar growing pains that go along with being a true freshman.
After an encouraging performance versus Alabama A&M, Bodden showed his inexperience against Alcorn State, throwing for 105 yards to go along with a late fourth-quarter interception in the Tigers’ 24-20 loss.
“We know there is going to be inconsistencies at times,” said coach Broderick Fobbs. “There are going to be times when he does a lot of really good things and there are going to be times when he looks like a freshman. He’s extremely talented, intelligent, and smart and knows what to do with the ball when he gets it.”
Fobbs said he has not lost confidence in Bodden even though he was benched in favor of junior Aldon Clark in the second half.
Moving forward the plan is to start Bodden and mix in Clark situationally, Fobbs said. Ultimately, Bodden — with expected ups and downs — will get the bulk of the snaps.
“We just have to keep working with him,” the coach said. “Every week he’s growing. Every week he’s getting better.”
North Carolina A&T linebacker explains Big South-MEAC differences
North Carolina A&T finds itself in a familiar position.
Sitting in first place after the first two weeks of Big South conference play.
What is unfamiliar, however, is the noticeable difference in talent Big South opponents pose compared to those they routinely battled for years in the MEAC.
Aggies linebacker Jacob Roberts detailed some on-field subtleties between the two conferences.
“Football is just football to me, but in the Big South, linemen are a little bigger, a little stronger, a little faster,” he said. “The game is a little faster, but it’s nothing new. We’re going to adjust to it and our best against their best; I’ll take us any day.”