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FOOTBALL: An honor well-deserved (PHOTOS)

A star at Robichaud and U-M, Tyrone Wheatley goes into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame

Former Robichaud and University of Michigan football star Tyrone Wheatley was inducted Monday as part of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fameís 57th class.

Wheatley, who was a nine-time state champion while at Robichaud and a first-round NFL selection after his standout U-M career, is part of a star-studded hall of fame class.

Joining Wheatley are a two other former NFL stars, four U.S. Olympians and two MSU basketball greats.

The other inductees are former Detroit Lion offensive lineman Lomas Brown; former NFL player, coach and Michigan native Tony Dungy; two-time Big 10 basketball Player of the Year Mateen Cleaves from Flint and MSU; Michigan State, Detroit Pershing great and USA Olympic basketball team member Steve Smith; U.S Olympic basketball player Pam McGee of Flint; former NHL player and Olympian Mark Howe; and University of Michigan and Olympic diver Dick Kimball.

The 57th Class was selected by a statewide, blue-ribbon group of veteran sports journalists, selected college and professional sports administrators, Michigan Sports Hall of Fame members, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame board of directors and also a first-time public online vote.

The induction ceremony was Monday at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

"The Michigan Sports Hall of Fame 57th Induction Class is made up of a tremendous group of individuals from a variety of sports that have achieved prominence and represented their teams, schools and the state of Michigan at the highest levels," said Scott Lesher, Michigan Sports Hall of Fame chairman.

Wheatley, 41, had one of the most storied high school careers in Michigan history. He won seven individual state track championships, a team state track title and a football state championship.

Wheatley led Robichaud to the only football state championship in school history in 1990.

Following that season, he was named Michigan High School Player of the Year. Later that year, won high school All-American honors in track and was named Michigan High School Runner of the Year.

After graduating from Robichaud, Wheatley attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on an athletic scholarship. At U-M, he played running back for four years as well as ran track for three years, claiming Big Ten honors in football and All-American honors in track.

Some of Wheatley's most notable achievements were being named the 1993 Rose Bowl most valuable player after his bowl-game record of 235 yards rushing and three touchdowns in Michigan's win over Washington in Pasadena.

He was also the 1992 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

Wheatley was an All-American and Big Ten champ in the 110-meter hurdles.

Upon graduation from U-M, Wheatley was the 1995 NFL 1st round draft pick of the New York Giants, where he was a running back and teamís leading ball carrier.

Wheatley also played for the Oakland Raiders, going to the playoffs three years in a row, including one Super Bowl.

Wheatley spent four seasons with New York and six with Oakland, where he made an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII with the Raiders against Tampa Bay in San Diego.

During his professional career (1995-2004), Wheatley totaled over 6,500 yards as a running back and kickoff returner.

Following his professional career, Wheatley returned to Robichaud as football coach in 2007, leading the team to rebound from its 0-9 record to 9-2 his first year.

Under his leadership, Robichaud reached the playoffs for the first time since 1994.

Wheatley has since coached at Ohio Northern University, Eastern Michigan University and Syracuse University.

This season Wheatley will begin his professional coaching career as the running backs coach for the Buffalo Bills.



Last Updated: 2/19/2013 1:10:14 PM EST

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