While he wasn’t a starter on Sunday, it was an important day for Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Stony Brook University.
Wheatley Jr., the son of 10-year NFL veteran Tyrone Wheatley Sr., earned a spot on the 53-man roster for the New England Patriots and was active for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. It was a close game, with the Eagles narrowly winning 25-20.
With the game under his belt, the offensive tackle became the seventh Seawolf to be active on an NFL regular season game. The other alums include tight end Will Tye (2015/New York Giants), linebacker Victor Ochi (2016/New York Jets), offensive lineman Timon Parris (2018/Washington Redskins), defensive back Chris Cooper (2019/Atlanta Falcons), defensive back Gavin Heslop (2020/Seattle Seahawks), and linebacker Sam Kamara (2021/Chicago Bears).
Wheatley Jr., who played tight end in college, transferred to Stony Brook from Michigan, where he tallied six receptions for 36 yards for the Seawolves in 2018.
Following college, he transitioned his position and has spent the last few years on NFL practice squads.
This preseason, the 26-year-old Buffalo native played for the Cleveland Browns with fellow former Stony Brook players Sam Kamara and Gavin Heslop. On Aug. 27, Wheatley Jr. was traded by the Browns to the Patriots in exchange for running back Pierre Strong Jr.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has liked what he’s seen from his new acquisition, saying: “He works hard. Got a good skillset. Learning. Young, developing player, but he’s getting better.”
Top: Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (#88) during his time with Stony Brook University. (Credit: Stony Brook Athletics)