AT COLORADO: Career Notes: On Colorado’s all-time lists, he tied for third in interceptions (14), tied for seventh in pass deflections (29), second in kickoff return yards (1,350) and kickoff returns (56). He set single-season records in 2007 for the most kickoff returns (37) and yards (919).
2007 (Sr.)—He started the first 10 games of the regular season at left cornerback until being sidelined for the last two with a hairline fracture in his foot, but came back to start in the Independence Bowl. He earned third-team All-America honors from Rivals.com, and was tabbed as a first-team All-Big 12 performer by the Associated Press and the league coaches; the coaches selected him as an honorable mention pick at kick returner. He was on the official watchlist for both the Bronko Nagurski Award (one of 54 candidates) and the Jim Thorpe Award (one of 35). He had 42 tackles on the season (32 solo), with four third down stops, and five interceptions; he ranked second in the conference and 10th in the NCAA in interceptions per game. He tied a school record when he became the first Buffalo in 25 years to intercept three passes in a game when he stole three at Texas Tech off Graham Harrell; the last to do it was Victor Scott at Oklahoma State in 1982. For his effort, Wheatley was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Football Writer’s National Player of the Week; he also earned Big 12 and NFF/Colorado Chapter AOW honors and earned an ESPN “Helmet Sticker.” In addition to the three picks in that game, he also had seven tackles (all solo) and a PBU. He had seven tackles (five solo) and a PBU against Kansas State, and had six tackles against Colorado State and Kansas. In the CSU game, his interception in the endzone ended Colorado State’s overtime possession, with the Buffs then winning when they had their first shot. At Arizona State, he returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown in the first minute of the game to give CU a 7-0 lead. He was exciting with the ball, and though never breaking one all the way, he did average 24.8 yards on kickoff returns, which was good for eighth in the conference and 42nd in the NCAA. Against Alabama in the bowl game, he was in on five tackles (three solo), with a pass deflection.
2006 (Jr.)—He earned first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors from the league coaches, while the Associated Press placed him on its second-team (as did two of his home state newspapers, the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News). He also earned first-team All-Colorado honors from the state’s chapter of the National Football Foundation. He was one of four players on the team to start all 12 games, playing the most snaps from scrimmage, offense or defense, by any player with 776. He tied for fifth on the team in tackles with 57 (46 solo) and led the team in interceptions (5), passes broken up (11) and touchdown saves (4) while being second in third down stops (11). He also had four tackles for loss (including one-and-a-half quarterback sacks), two hurries, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a chasedown (near sack) and caused an interception. His top tackle game was against Texas Tech, when he had a career-high nine, including five solo and both of his sacks; he had six tackles on three other occasions, versus Georgia, Baylor and Nebraska (all solo stops in the latter). He had five solo tackles, three passes broken up and an interception at Missouri (with a second interception nullified by replay though the ruling was questionable, claiming he didn’t have control of the ball which appeared otherwise), and he had a two-pick game against Baylor. His other thefts came against Arizona State and Kansas. On special teams duty, he earned five points on the strength of three tackles (one inside-the-20) and a forced fair catch. He was back at 100 percent, as he overcame three different wrist surgeries; some thought his career could be over but he worked hard in rehabilitation and emerged as one of the top defensive backs in the conference. He participated at full speed in spring drills, with two interceptions (one for a 47-yard touchdown) in full scrimmage action.
2005 (Jr.-RS)—He missed all of spring drills following wrist surgery in February, but his chronic problems continued and underwent additional surgery in August, forcing him to miss the entire season. He had a redshirt year available so he did not lose a year of eligibility. He had garnered some preseason All-Big 12 honors at both cornerback (third-team from Phil Steele’s College Football) as well as kickoff return specialist (second-team from Huskers Illustrated and third-team from Athlon).
2004 (Soph.)—He played in all 13 games, and started the last five including the Houston Bowl, as he was finally 100 percent back from a couple of nagging injuries (wrist, groin and hamstring, the latter two suffered during two-a-days). He played 535 snaps from scrimmage in posting 33 tackles (27 solo), with five third down stops and three passes broken up. He was second on the team in interceptions with four, making all over the last five games of the regular season (he ranked seventh in the Big 12 and 51st in the NCAA in picks). The first of his career he made memorable, as he returned it 37 yards for a touchdown against Texas, becoming the 12th Buffalo since 1992 to return his first pick for a score. He also had four tackles in that game (all solo), one of six occasions he had four or more in a game. He had six (each unassisted) in the win over Kansas State, and also had six (five solo) with a pick in the victory at Kansas. The coaching staff twice honored him as CU’s defensive back of the week (for the Texas and Kansas games). On special teams, he was a dangerous return man, as he averaged 22.0 yards for 19 kickoff returns, including a 59-yard effort against Washington State and 43-yarder in the bowl against UTEP; he was fourth in the Big 12 and 53rd in the NCAA. He also earned six special team points on the strength of three tackles (one inside-the-20), a downed punt and a knockdown block. In the bowl win, he had four tackles, four pass deflections (a CU bowl record) and a third down stop. He missed most of spring practice after suffering a dislocated wrist on the third day of April work and was lost for the remainder of the spring; the cast came off in mid-June but was not really fully recovered until after the season started. He was the fastest player on the team in the spring conditioning tests, as he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.38.
2003 (Fr.)—He saw action in all 12 games on special teams and in six defensively, including two starts (against Baylor and Kansas State). He played 268 snaps at cornerback, registering 24 tackles (19 solo), five pass deflections and two touchdown saves. His first start against Baylor was historical as with the other starting cornerback being redshirt frosh Sammy Joseph, it marked the first time in CU history that a pair of freshmen started at the position in the same game (not to mention two starting at least one game in the same season). He posted his season high with eight tackles (six solo) against the Bears, and he also had five tackles (all solo) with two pass deflections at Kansas State. He tied for fourth in special team points with seven, on the strength of five tackles, one inside-the-20, and a downed punt.
HIGH SCHOOL—As a senior, Rivals.com tabbed him the No. 56 cornerback in the nation, as he earned all-state honorable mention honors, all-district (9-5A) first-team honors and was named to the Dallas Morning News all-area first-team as a cornerback and receiver. He was also named the Plano Star Collin County MVP, and during his junior year, he received all-district second team honors at receiver and first-team accolades at kick returner. As a senior, he was in on 82 tackles (three for loss), along with making five interceptions, nine pass deflections, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. On offense, he caught 25 passes for 410 yards and three touchdowns, as he averaged 35 yards per kick return and 15 yards per punt return on special teams. As a junior, totaled 70 tackles (four for loss), with six interceptions, 18 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and three recovered fumbles. He played running back sparingly, rushing 23 times for 200 yards, and added 11 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He also averaged 25 yards per kick return and eight yards on punt returns. Top career games include a 24-21 win over Lake Highlands his junior year, when he rushed 13 times for 114 yards, and added four receptions for 70 yards, including the game winning touchdown. On defense, he had 10 tackles and one interception. In a 33-14 win over Plano his senior year, he had 65 yards receiving, nine tackles and one pass deflection, adding a 30-yard punt return average. That same year, in a 21-0 victory against Lewisville, he had 85 yards receiving, including a 79-yard touchdown reception, 10 tackles and two pass breakups in addition to a 35-yard kick return average. Plano East was 8-4 his senior season (district champions, but lost in the second round of the playoffs) and 8-3 his junior year (district champs, but losing in first round of the playoffs) under coach John Crawford. He also lettered three times in track and holds school records for the triple jump (50-8), long jump (24-6½) and 100 meters (10.15). He was the Texas Relay champion in the triple jump winning with a 48-5 his junior year, and he won district championships in the 100, long jump and triple jump as a junior. He also was the district champion in the triple jump as a sophomore.
ACADEMICS—He is majoring in Economics, and earning a minor in Business, and is on schedule to graduate this May (’08). He was a regular member of the honor roll in high school.
PERSONAL—He was born May 5, 1985 in Walnut Creek, Calif. His hobbies include playing video games, shooting pool, swimming and computers. He played both the saxophone and trumpet as a youth. Father (Randolph) ran track at Arizona State.