#80 Justin Wheeler
Wheeler did not participate in his fifth year on campus due to difficulty trying to recover from a knee injury that occurred in Spring Practice.
Put together the finest season of his career after seeing expansion of receiving role… Played in every game, earning 10 starting assignments… Established single-season career highs in receptions (16) and receiving yards (145)… Ranked third on team in receptions… Posted career outing in win over Auburn with five receptions, good for 52 yards… 15-yard TD catch from Mackenzi Adams started Commodore rally against Tigers… Contributed pair of catches against four other opponents: South Carolina, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Wake Forest… Also displayed superb blocking skills in open field.
One of team[apos]s most improved offensive performers, Wheeler developed into solid weapon as second-year wide receiver… Played 11 of 12 games, missing the opener vs. Richmond… In first collegiate action, posted three catches vs. Alabama… Season highlight was a 20-yard touchdown strike from Mackenzi Adams that gave Commodores sufficient cushion in eventual road win at South Carolina… Finished year with three catches at Tennessee and a pair of receptions vs. Wake Forest.
Saw limited role at wide receiver as redshirt freshman… Appeared in six games, including wins over Temple, Tennessee State and Duke… Did not register a catch… Also contributed on special teams.
Redshirted as freshman… Impressed as wide receiver during fall practices.
Senior captain for Yellow Jackets… Played wide receiver and returned kicks… Coaches also tried him at quarterback… Just competed first year of high school football, joining squad during preseason camp… As senior, caught 25 passes for 290 yards and three TDs… Team[apos]s Offensive MVP… Named All-Region, All-Aiken County and Second Team All-CSRA by Augusta Chronicle All-CSRA… Concentrated on basketball first three years of high school… As junior guard, averaged 18 points and seven assists to earn regional Player of the Year honors in basketball.
Justin Durell Wheeler… Son of Curtis and Jessie Wheeler… Has an older brother… Mom is teachers[apos] assistant… Wheeler will finish his undergraduate degree in Sociology from the College of Arts and Science in May 2010… He assisted with the men[apos]s basketball team during the 2009-10 season, and hopes to coach high school basketball… Was born in Germany while dad served in military… High school produced former Commodore All-SEC cornerback Fred Vinson.
North Augusta Head Coach Joe Long
‘Justin is definitely one of those under-the-radar guys. Vanderbilt got a great football player with this man. I also have the No. 1 prospect in South Carolina (WR/CB C.J. Byrd), but Justin may be the best athlete in this school.
‘When Justin entered the ninth grade, he decided to concentrate on basketball. Then, two weeks into practice this year, he came asking to play football. I said, `Absolutely.[apos] He made an immediate impact on our team.’