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Throwback Thursday: Tyrone Wheatley, One Of The Best To Ever Do It

A legend of Michigan’s early ‘90s teams, Wheatley was a force of nature on the football field.

Oakland Raiders v PIttsburgh Steelers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

This week’s TBT is dedicated to recently departed coach Tyrone Wheatley. Time and recent images of his more husky physique may cloud memories somewhat of what a dominant collegiate running back he was. Wheatley could bowl people over with his power, outrun anyone with his track speed and break some DB ankles with his ability to shift directions.

What's equally impressive was his unbelievable consistency during his time in Ann Arbor. He rushed for over 1000 yards his last three years and scored 14 or 16 touchdowns each of those years. He averaged 6.1 yards/carry for his entire career and he seemed to only get better in the red zone or when the Wolverines needed a fourth quarter first down to seal a win (would have been nice to have something like that last November in Iowa City).

This highlight reel showcases his skills, determination and showmanship (joyous celebrations that don’t wander into Ocho Cinco territory).

If you don’t have time to watch the whole 14 minutes, here are the best of the best:

-2:39- He takes a kick return to the house (I had forgotten what a good kick returner he was)

-4:11- Combines all his skills: speed, power and an ankle breaker

-6:34- Shows off his pure speed on 88 yard run (notice how he increases separation on the d-backs)

-8:09- He gets in two great stiff arms, including one where he tosses the defender to the ground

-11:31- Wheatley sees there is no hole, improvises a stutter step, goes wide and then lowers his shoulder for the score

-12:50- Watch his unbridled enthusiasm after a power score (despite playing with a shoulder injury)

Wishing the all-time Michigan TD leader great things in Jacksonville!