A newcomer who finds himself the leading candidate for the starting tight end duties ... Is still learning the offense and adjusting to the speed of the game ... Has good athletic ability and catches the ball well ... Made progress during spring practice ... Shows a willingness to get into a defender and block ... Has made some improvement in the weight room, but is still not ready physically ... Must make a good summer preparation ... Appears likely to find himself getting some on the job training this fall. 2005: Redshirted while working at tight end ... Posted a 450-pound back squat during scout team max tests during the fall ... Ran a 4.64 in the 40 during spring testing ... Caught a pass for 4 yards in Tech's first spring scrimmage. Prep School: Saw action at linebacker, fullback and tight end while playing for Coach Robert Prunty at Hargrave ... Listed as the No. 24 prep school player in the nation by rivals.com. High School: Lettered three seasons for Coach Dave Crist at Blacksburg, while playing running back, wide receiver, linebacker and tight end ... Also punted for the Bruins ... Rushed for over 300 yards his senior year and caught 14 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns ... Also contributed 98 tackles on defense ... Caught three passes, including two for TDs, in a game against Northside ... Earned all-district honors three straight years ... Ranked the No. 33 player in the state by The Roanoke Times in 2004 ... Ranked No. 69 on the All Mid-Atlantic Team by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report as a senior ... Named an All-Atlantic Region selection as a defensive lineman by PrepStar ... Earned all-district, region and state honors in basketball ... Pulled down 31 rebounds in a game against Patrick Henry as a senior ... Averaged 16.8 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. Personal: Samuel Ryan Wheeler ... Born 5/27/86 in Bluefield, WV ... Son of Anthony and Linda Wheeler ... Enrolled in university studies.