And just like that, Tyrone Wheatley came back into my life.
As a Giants fan who's formative years were in the early-to-mid 90's, I know Tyrone Wheatley very well. I was a huge Rodney Hampton fan. HA-YUGE. Rodney Hampton is the perfect example to me of a guy who would never be considered Hall-of-Fame worthy but would be ideal for a Ring of Fame-type deal, if the Giants had such a thing. Whereas the regular NFL fan doesn't even remember who Rodney Hampton was, every Giants fans from the 90's remembers Rodney as he was, the heart and soul of those early 90's teams. Granted, most of those teams sucked, but Rodney was a beacon of light high atop a trench of suckitude.
So towards the end of the decade when it became clear that we would have to replace Rodney, it was critical that we get it right. Who would be good enough to replace the then-all-time leading rusher in team history? With their first pick in the '95 draft, it was clear the Giants intended Tyrone Wheatley to be that guy. Four seasons later, Wheatley was traded to the Dolphins for a 7th-round pick, never having lived up to the hype. He was passed over in the starting line-up for some guy named Tiki Barber and the rest is history.
Wheatley landed in Oakland where he carved out a couple good seasons, went to a Super Bowl and left as the seventh leading rusher in Oakland Raider history with 3,682 yards. Good for him. Whether he was a victim of hype in New York or not, Wheatley will be remembered for what he did in Oakland far more than New York.
He was still a thousand times better than Ron Dayne. That much I do know.
Anyway that was an extremely long-winded introduction to Syracuse's new Running Backs Coach Tyrone Wheatley. With Roger Harriott announcing his departure yesterday, Wheatley was apparently hanging out in the hallway the whole time because he swooped in on this one.
Wheatley brings five years of coaching experience to the Orange, including four in football and one in track & field. The 17th overall pick in the 1995 NFL draft by the New York Giants, Wheatley played for Giants (1995-98) and the Oakland Raiders (1999-2004).
At Eastern Michigan, Wheatley mentored the running backs, served as the recruiting coordinator and was responsible for EMU’s high school football camps. Wheatley began his football collegiate coaching career as at Ohio Northern University in a coaching internship sponsored by the NFL in 2008. He was also the head football and boys track coach at Dearborn Heights Robichaud H.S. in 2006 and 2007. He began his coaching career the sprints and hurdles for the Michigan track & field program in 2005-06.
Good for whoever controls Wheatley's Wikipedia page, they've already updated it.