Denard v. Tyrone Wheatley, 87- and 88-yard TD runs (respectively)
That might be one of the coolest things I've seen somebody post. Did you do that? If so thank you very, very much!
If ever something called for a massive amount of Mod bonus points this is it IMO.
I just saw someone link to it on Twitter and thought that people would want to see it (assuming that there are people here who don't follow these things).
I guess it's the guys at www.maizeandbluenews.com? It's on their YouTube feed.
which we think is better? Or just showing them side by side so we can see how awesome both were?
If the former, I personally have a better connection in my heart to the Denard one as the Wheatley one was just before my time.
If the latter, thanks! they were awesome!
Damn, I really wish I could have seen Wheatley play
An absolute stud. The most dangerous RB Michigan has had in the last 40 years. He was a true threat to take it to the house everytime he touched the ball
He was something else. I like to think of him as the Jim Brown of early '90s college football. At the college level, he had more than enough speed and strength to dominate. Reasonable shiftiness, too. At the NFL level, his skills (speed, notably) didn't stand out as much, but he still had some good years and a long career:
Wheatley was amazing. He weighed about 230 pounds and had sprinter's speed. He received some Heisman consideration, but couldn't stay completely healthy his last two years. He still was a three-time 1,000-yard rusher.
In '94 we had Wheatley as our first-string RB and Biakabutuka as our 2nd-string, which is pretty amazing to think about. We also had a senior QB (Todd Collins), good OL, excellent WR corps (Amani Toomer, Mercury Hayes), great talent all over the defense (Will Carr, Jerrett Irons, Ty Law) . . .that team was loaded. From 1 through 85 that might have been the most talented Michigan team of the past 20 years. Unfortunately, Colorado beat us on that Hail Mary and it ripped the team's heart out. I don't think the team emotionally recovered from that game and finished 8-4.
The '94 team also played an extremely difficult schedule. They lost nail-biters to a PSU team that finished 12-0, a Colorado team that finished 11-1, and I think there was a 10-win team in there as well. Almost every opponent went to a bowl - our nonconference slate was Boston College, ND, and Colorado. Tough schedules can mean a lot of thrilling games, but they can catch up to a team. It's hard to bring your A game every week.
Wheatley was faster.
Wheatley took fewer seconds off the clock, they were different runs. Denard had to juke and get to the outside before burning everyone, Wheatley had a straight shot up the middle. He's still fast of course, just saying.
the first 30 yard line, Denard is a good 2-3 yards behind Wheatley, mostly because he had to get outside and get through some traffic. By the next 30 yard line its a dead heat....which means....both are awesome.
You sure about that? Watched Wheatly growing up, love the guy, but I don't think he was as fast as Denard.
He didn't get the touches that Denard does because of injuries and UM's ridiculous depth at RB during his time in Ann Arbor. (Powers, Jesse Johnson, Ed Davis)
Speed-wise he is right there with Robinson. That he is 4-5 inches taller and 30 lbs heavier makes it all the more amazing.
It is because of this that put DRob 4th behind Wheatley, Woodson, and AC as the most athletically gifted players UM has had since Harmon.
Is that he was that fast and that big. An amazing talent
wheatley beat denard to the 30 easily, but then denard starts catching up over the next 70 yards. the camera angles make it hard to see if he actually catches him or not.
edit: UFR, i think they're even at the second 30 they cross. so wheatley starts faster upfield but denard pulls even. i spent more time on that than it was worth, didn't i?
Wasn't he a conference champion in track during the offseason?
From the Syracuse website:
- Three-time All-Big Ten track & field honoree as a sprinter ( 1993-95)
- Named Track and Field All American
- Big Ten 110 metre hurdles champion (1994)
- All-Big Ten track & field (1994)
- Big Ten team indoor champions (1994)
- All-American (college outdoor) (1995)
- All-American (high school)
- Michigan High School Runner of the Year (1991)
- 8-time MHSAA state champion (1990–91)
- Record-holder in the long jump in MHSAA (1991–)
EDIT: From the MHSAA website, Tyrone Wheatley holds high school records in:
- 110 m hurdles, LP Class B: 13.7, Tyrone Wheatley, Dearborn Hts. Robichaud, 1991
- Long jump, LP Class B: 23-10.75, Tyrone Wheatley, Dearborn Heights Robichaud,1989
- Four-time individual winners, single meet: Tyrone Wheatley, Dearborn Heights Robichaud: 1990 Class B (long jump, 100, 200, 110 hurdles)
Wheatley was so good it's hard to find a comparison as evidenced by this made up quote
"Wheatley is like Tyronne Wheatley except faster"
- Fred Jackson, 1994
Why choose when we can have both?
Can we get a 175 yard TD run for 12 points?
Seems about right for me.
Tyrone/Shoelace. Anyone else singing "Basketball Jones"?
It’s like Sophie’s Choose only sadder.
I think Denard is probably a teeny bit faster than Wheatley. But remember that Wheatley played in an era with much less defensive speed overall--so he probably seemed much faster in comparison to the guys chasing him.
Where Wheatley's speed always impressed me the most was in his ability to always get to the corner on basic runs from scrimmage. Defenses would have a play well-defended and appear to have a play strung-out, and Wheatley would just hit that extra gear and go around them.
I really think Wheatley was faster in pads. Angles didn't matter. I remember watching Wheatley in high school crush my sister's school in the playoffs. Funny thing was, we saw him on tv the week before they played on that show Scholastic Sports America (or something like that). I remember telling my sister, "You guys are dead." It was pretty obvious that he wasn't just another kid. His explosiveness was on a level with any RB I've ever seen, except Bo.
We have not had another back since him that was as much of a threat as he was anytime he touched the ball. A true gamebreaker. I had the honor of playing with him in high school and he is still a friend of mine today.
Kinda OT regarding the original post, but Wheatley is currently the RB coach at Syracuse and recruits the state of Michigan for them. He would probably be one of the leading candidates to take over when Jackson retires.
He's what, 62 years old now? (based on college graduation of 1972 per mgoblue.com profile). How many more years do you think he'll stick around as coach? I'd like to see us snag Wheatley as our RB coach before a higher profile school picks him up as he's only in his 3rd season at 'Cuse.
I would guess he'll stick around through the graduation of his son Jeremy (who's a junior). I think he has a couple of other kids but I don't know if they play football or not.
For you youngsters, you missed one of the all-time greats in Wheatley. I covered a couple of his high school games for the Dearborn Press and Guide. He was a man amongst boys. Robichaud won the state football title because of him. He also led them to a state track title.
He was big, fast, and tough. He'll forever be one of my favorite players.
FWIW Tyrone was a man among men too. I'm 53 and he's the best RB I've ever seen play. Such a shame he got hurt before his Sr year.
I would say faster than Denard. He actually got slower as he got older, probably because he got so big. Watch this highlight from the previous Rose Bowl, I'm not sure I've ever seen a player turn the corner like this. Note for the young, the Washington D in this video was amazing.
Wheatley's run was in the Rose Bowl. Denard's run was great, but it's pretty clear which was bigger.
I was 13 years old when I watched that game. Our family always got together with the Prays to watch the Rose Bowl. Joe (the other dad) and my dad are both gone now, too soon for both. But we have memories like this. Everyone in the room was going absolutely bonkers before he even crossed the 50.
All-time great Michigan memory.
The best part about Wheatley was his Shoulder Pads.
Our next dog will be named Wheatley. That is all.
with well over 40 yrs of Michigan football watching . . .Wheatley by a step. . . maybe.
Speed isn't everything though; as mentioned above, his size & toughness were often overlooked.
He wasn't a bruising back by any means but unlike a lot of track star-football players he could really break takles, stiff arm and lower his shoulder when he had too.
I love Denard, but put them in the backfield & give each 30+ carries and Wheatley would have far greater numbers.
Apart from speed it's an Apples to Oranges comparison.
We probably haven't had a true bowling ball back there since one Leroy Hoard.
I would actually love to see us put AJ Williams back there some time. If he's got the athleticism to play tight end, at his size, he could definitely be a good BEEF MACHINE back.
embodies the Michigan running back. He is the standard.
I miss having big running backs that not only have speed but just plow over defenders with their size. Biakabutuka, A-Train and especially Wheatley. The number of 50+ yard runs he had seemed endless.
Thank you so much for that video. So many of those runs were memorable, but I think the one at 7:50 was the most impressive. Not only does he have spectacular speed but his strength is overpowering as well!
Tyrone is one of my all time favorites. That video brings back memories of why I would be on the edge of my seat everytime he got the ball (much like these days when there is a running play for Denard!)
was the first of two long TD runs by Ty Wheatley that got us back into that game, it was an awesome display and we were going up against an undefeated Penn State team that featured Ki-Jana Carter at tailback. Wheatley kicked his ass.
It was too bad that we came out on the short end of the scoreboard that day. After Tyrone scored his second TD in the third quarter, he took off his helmet and did the Superman pose in our endzone.
I thought for sure he was going to lead us single handedly to victory that day. But alas it was not to be, he reinjured his shoulder and the freshman version Tshumanga Biakabutuka was not yet up to that task.
I have seen many great backs play in Michigan Stadium, Tony Boles, Leroy Hoard, Ricky Powers, Tshumanga Biakabutuka , A-Train, Chris Perry, Harlan Huckleby, Butch Woolfolk, Mike Hart and the oppositions players, IMHO Tryone Wheatley had it all, speed, power ball security, pass catching ability, and he is the gold standard by which I judge Michigan running backs.
Thanks for the Video WH, it brought back some great memories.
This video, especially the run against Washington (about the :35 mark), not only fondly reminds me of Wheatley's awesome talents but also the wonderfulness of Keith Jackson announcing.
He had the perfect voice for college football on TV and his word choice was great with the proper amount of enthusiasm for a nat'l announcer.
I mean, on TV, I can see what's going on, so I don't need a lot of verbiage during the play.
Jackson's "Wheatley...he can HAUL it....it's a TOUCHDOWN....Tyrone Wheatley, showing you his buh-LAY-zing speed." was perfect.
Wheatley may be my favorite Michigan player ever. That was when I started following college football closely and I had no idea how spoiled we were to have a back with that kind of ability. He had it all. If he could have stayed healthy for an entire season, he'd have won the Heisman.
Felman Malveaux sightings in these highlights. He was the Calvin Bell of his era - you always knew it was going to be a run when Felman was on the field.
Wow, that brought back great memories. He was a special player, that's for sure. Maybe not quite on Bo or Herschel level, but up there. Plus, the dominating nature of those teams back then, those were great years.
And I loved seeing the marshmellows in the end-zone.
Wheatley is my favorite wolverine ever
Michigan's track record book says Wheatley ran the 100 in 10.46. Robinson did a 10.44 in high school. Robinson ran a 6.81 60m at least once, according to U-M's site; Wheatley's best time was 6.80, although that was converted from 55m.
So they're basically equal, which shows what a ridiculous athlete Wheatley was. The guy was 25 pounds bigger.
Wheatley was fast, but he lost a little speed as he bulked up over his career. His freshman year he was a track guy playing football. As he transitioned to a RB body he lost that "elite" speed they talk about. He didn't have it in the NFL. Denard's position hasn't required that change, and I would say just from the eye test his speed is unchanged.
suffered a knee injury in his first NFL camp with the Giants, which may have impacted his career to some extent.
Even though the GM did because the coach preferred big bowling ball backs. It wasn't till his leg healed and he got te hell out of New York to the Raiders that he started putting up some good numbers. And by then his self life as a RB was on the downside.
I don't know if I'm the only one who has the two forever linked -- but a running tandem like Biakabutuka and Wheatley was a sight to behold and I hope we can come close to approximating it sometime in the future. For my money -- those two are some of the greatest M backs of all time. Combined they ran for almost 2000 yards in 1994 at 6.2 and 5.4 YPA respectively. Could you imagine how lethal a running attack of Tim, Tyrone and Denard would be?
I know my young impressionable mind put those two high on Mt. Olympus, but that was a spectacular backfield, even when compared with other M greats.
Franks radio call. "and they'll never catch him. Denard Robinson, shoelaces flopping in the wind..."
I'm sort of embarrassed for Frank on that call. I thought it was cheesy
Can someone ghost the images to see who's really faster?
I will say that it has been an honor to watch both of them during their careers at Michigan, and in reality, Denard doesn't have a whole lot of ground to cover to more or less match Wheatley's careers statistics for rushing. Both of them, as others have mentioned, have been potentially lethal with the ball in their hands (Denard perhaps a bit more so by virtue of being a QB as well) and a threat for six virtually every time.
As for statistics and what it would take for Denard to match arguably the best RB Michigan has had in the last 25 years - Wheatley had 688 carries for 4,178 yards and 47 TDs. Right now, Denard stands at 586 carries for 3,580 yards and 39 rushing TDs. 102 more carries for 598 more yards (average of 5.8 yards, which is less than his career average to date) and 8 more rushing TDs and he matches them exactly actually.
Many here probably were too young to know the Wheatley story. He may have been the all-time biggest recruit Michigan has ever landed. He was sooooo in-demand from every school in the nation - it bordered on the level of Marcus Dupree. He was just that good in high school and as a freshmen.
Dude was a Beast and had wheels..Power and speed are real hard to come by.. I think we need a new legend patch for RB.s rocking the # 6 jersey.
Wheatley was exactly like Bo Jackson. Fast, powerful, home run threat with a mean streak that loved trucking over DBs. He probably cut a meaningful number of yards from his total because he would occassionally punish a DB that he probably could have juked.
I think the Minny coach, Jim Wacker, after the 1992 game (a 63-13 beatdown) described Wheatley as Superman with a #6 on his cape. (I couldn't find a game summary online).
The best way to describe him is to compare the thoughts that we have every time Denard gets into the open field and you EXPECT him to score. When Wheatley got the corner or made it to the second level between the tackles, you assumed 6 points was going on the board.
Denard is fantastic, and so was Woodson, but I honestly think Wheatley was the best Michigan football player (I'm not considering OL and DL) I have seen in the 40 years I have followed and 21 years I've had season tickets for M football.
Regarding his speed, Wheatly probably had the same or better top-end elite speed Denard has, but Denard is far more elusive and has a quicker first 10 yards.
but Wheatley was a BEAST!
Tyrone Wheatley was like Mike Shaw only bigger, faster, and tougher... only like seriously.