BSD’s recruiting staff sat down for a roundtable on each prospect Penn State signed in the 2021 class. Coming in at No. 4 was four-star safety Zakee Wheatley.
What makes you excited about Zakee Wheatley?
“So I really didn’t watch a lot of film on these prospects until their senior season, and man, was I blown away by Wheatley based upon what I thought the general consensus was of him. Defensive back prospects tend to be 6-foot-2, but then when you watch them on film, it’s clear they are closer to 5-foot-11. Not the case with Wheatley. Super long, lanky frame, and he’s all of 6-foot-2. Great body control and coordination. Good feet, nice fluidity, has the hips. He’s not Brian Dawkins out there, but plays with an apt level of aggression. Smart player that sees the field well. Doesn’t have elite long speed, but good short area quickness, and I like his first couple steps. He’s a Top 150 recruit in my mind.” --Patrick
What worries you about Zakee Wheatley?
“I think this one may be an analysis I look back on and feel silly about in the future. Wheatley is the opposite of Jaylen Reed, in that his measurables jump off the charts. I’d have liked to see him get a senior year to evaluate, but Maryland cancelled its football season (editor’s note: Wheatley did have a senior “season” it was just two games). I’m not sure how Wheatley handles having to become more a technician, but if it does the upside is big time.” --Clay
Do you think Zakee Wheatley will be redshirted next season? Around what point of his career do you think he pushes for meaningful playing time?
“Wheatley will likely redshirt next fall. Due to his athleticism, it’s a safe bet he’ll play on defense and on special teams in four games next fall while preserving his redshirt, but he needs some time in Dwight Galt’s S&C program and will need to work on transitioning to safety full time. That said, it would not be a surprise to see Wheatley make an impact early in his career.” --Marty
What do you think is the most realistic outcome for Zakee Wheatley: depth provider, starter, multi-year starter, all-conference, or all-american?
Marty: Multi-year starter
Lastly, where do you have Zakee Wheatley ranked in Penn State’s class?