JayhawkSlant - Cornell Wheeler will transfer to Kansas, talks about decision
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Cornell Wheeler will transfer to Kansas, talks about decision

When Cornell Wheeler decided to enter the transfer portal the Jayhawks were immediately a team in contention for the linebacker.

Wheeler, a four-star recruit from West Bloomfield, signed with Michigan out of his school. After one year in the program, he decided he was ready for a new start.

On Monday he announced the new start would be at Kansas.

“Well, I think Kansas is the right place for me,” he said. “I feel like they need depth at linebacker, and I feel like I can get on the field quick and just make a change there. There's another linebacker coming from Michigan as well in Rich Miller. I feel like me and him can make a change there. That's why I chose Kansas because I feel like they needed me most.”

Miller is another linebacker who joined the Kansas roster this summer after transferring from Buffalo. Miller, who is from Detroit has talked with Wheeler about being in the Kansas program.

“He loves it down there,” Wheeler said of Miller. “He says it has different vibes. It's different from Detroit, Michigan where I'm from. He said he just likes the vibe. And he said it's a family culture there, and everyone believes in each other. It's more of a brotherhood than just being teammates.”

Wheeler has arrived in Lawrence will join the team on Tuesday
Wheeler has arrived in Lawrence will join the team on Tuesday

Wheeler also had a connection to the coaching staff with linebackers coach Chris Simpson, who recruited him at Buffalo.

Simpson recruits the state of Michigan and built a good relationship with him back during the recruiting process.

“As soon as me and Coach Simpson met, it was out of sight,” Wheeler said. “The vibe that we had between each other was great. We didn't just talk about football, it was more just life. He talked to me like a person, and it was a lot more than just football. That started everything. I feel like he can take my game to the next level. Really, I see a coach that has trusted me, and he has faith in me.”

Wheeler said he has talked with head coach Lance Leipold dating back to his days at Buffalo. The two have also spoken since he entered the portal.

“He's a powerful leader for Kansas, and I know what he did at Buffalo,” Wheeler said. “It's going to amazing, just changing the program around.”

Wheeler put up eye-opening numbers in high school where he recorded 165 tackles and 12 for a loss as a junior. His senior year he had 130 tackles and 10 tackles for a loss. At 6-foot and 230 pounds he plays physical and will deliver a blow from his middle linebacker position on film.

“I feel like my strengths are being able to stop every run,” he said. “I hate to let the running back to get more than two yards. I also like to play in space. I like the covering in pass plays and I can do more of that. That's really how I play.”

He is ready to get started at Kansas and a new beginning. He reports today and will start working out with the team when they resume on Tuesday.

“What’s going on in my mind right now is that this a new beginning,” Wheeler said. “It's actually a blessing just to actually get into another school and being in Kansas. This is very new to me but it's definitely a blessing. I came to do good things, and really just make a name for myself out there. I know Kansas is more of a basketball school, but it's going to be known for football.”

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