Wheaton Excited with His New Surroundings

Following an 11-2 season in 2006, expectations at Chandler HS were sky high for last year's campaign. However, the Wolves finished a disappointing 7-4 with a loss in the first round of the playoffs. Transfer Markus Wheaton is one reason why the Wolves are confident that a turnaround is feasible. Judging by the recruiting attention he's getting many colleges also have a lot of faith in the WR.

Markus Wheaton transferred from Phoenix Mountain Pointe in January due to his family's relocation. The 6-1 175 wide receiver has noticed right away the difference between both programs which fuels his optimism for this upcoming season.

"Chandler has a great program and I'm expecting a lot from our team this year," he said. "We have a lot of D-I talent on the team and the coaches do a better job than Mountain Pointe helping the players with recruiting. I transferred to Chandler just because my family moved, but it's been great for my football career."

With an abundance of quality players on the roster, nothing less than a state championship will satisfy Wheaton and his teammates. "We have great wide receivers and defensive backs and a lot of good players coming back," he said.

The Wolves will have revenge on their minds after getting shut out by their rival Hamilton 46-0 in 2007, and that contest will naturally be the most anticipated on Chandler's schedule. "All the players I know at Hamilton are cool, so we don't talk smack to each other," Wheaton noted. "But I'm sure as the game gets closer there will be some talking."

As a junior at Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe Wheaton caught 23 passes for 476 yards and six TDs. He also rushed for 315 yards and four more scores and recorded 49 tackles and one interception as a defensive back. He was named first team all-region wide receiver last year and honorable mention all-state. As a sophomore he was named first team all-region wide receiver as well.

"My size is probably a disadvantage," said Wheaton of his attributes. "I'm probably like 173 lbs. now and I need to get up to 185. My speed is good and running track obviously helped me with that. But I know I can still improve there."

The coaches at Chandler have stayed on top of Wheaton and his teammates when it came to weight training during the off-season. The wide receiver feels that this has certainly paid off for him as he currently benches 290 lbs. and squats 385 lbs. and expects to improve on both marks later this year.

Arizona State offered Wheaton back in May, and the Sun Devils' recruiting efforts haven't let up ever since. "Arizona State has been on me pretty strong in the summer," said Wheaton. "(Defensive line) Coach Stretz has been emailing me and sending me letters."

Colorado, Oregon State and Oregon are other programs that along with the Sun Devils have been diligent in their pursuit of the wide receiver. He mentioned that Cal is a school that has been showing stronger interest in recent months.

Currently, Wheaton sports 13 offers which aren't bad, to say the least, for a player that hasn't been to any combines and team camps in the spring and summer. He missed those events due to his track commitments, where he was running the 200m, 400m and the 100x4 relay events.

The wide receiver was clocked running the 400m at 48.24, and the 200m at 21.92. "I did well in the 400m at the state finals, but I ran a horrible 200m," he said, "I ran the 4x100 right before I ran the 200. We broke the state record in the 4x100 and it was hard running the 200m right after that."

Wheaton has also been timed running the 100m at a time of 10.92, and was clocked running a 4.4 at the 40-yard dash.

In terms of playing football and running track in college, Wheaton has a unique approach. "I want to run track just in my freshman year and then play football the rest of the time," he stated. "So I want to go to a college that has both a good football program and a good track program too."

Arizona State would certainly fit that criterion. The football team finished 10-3 and Pac-10 co-champions, while the men's track team captured the NCAA indoor championship. "That definitely can make a difference in the end," Wheaton acknowledged.

Wheaton has scheduled one official visit, to Colorado on December 6th, and in all likelihood will schedule more official trips after the season starts. "I will probably visit ASU unofficially," he indicated. "I did go to the passing league they had there and got to talk to all the coaches. I didn't play because I had to go the Great Southwest track meet…I got to know (Wide Receivers) Coach Yarber a lot more and he is very charismatic which works for me."

ASU, Arizona, Colorado, Colorado State, Oregon, Oregon State, Nebraska, Utah, Cal, UCLA, Minnesota are some of the schools that have offered the wide receiver. Wheaton indicated that distance from home won't matter as he's prepared to make his verbal commitment, which is scheduled to come only after the season.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories