Wilson Whitley

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Wilson Whitley
No. 78
Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1955-04-28)April 28, 1955
Place of birth: Brenham, Texas
Date of death: October 27, 1992(1992-10-27) (aged 37)
Place of death: Marietta, Georgia
Height: 6 ft 3 in (191 cm) Weight: 265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
High school: Brenham (TX)
College: Houston
NFL Draft: 1977 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Debuted in 1977
Last played in 1982
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Wilson Whitley (May 28, 1955 – October 27, 1992) was a consensus All-American defensive tackle at the University of Houston from 1972-1976 under defensive coordinator Don Todd. He led the Cougars to the Southwest Conference championship in football during Houston's first season as a conference member and won the 1976 Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman. Former President Gerald Ford presented him the award at a ceremony in Houston, Texas.

Whitley was drafted in the first round by the Cincinnati Bengals and started alongside another Lombardi Award winner, Ross Browner, for 6 seasons. He was later named to the Southwest Conference "All Decade Team" for the 70's.

Whitley died at the age of 37, due to a heart condition. He is a 1998 inductee into University of Houston's Hall of Honor and was a perennial candidate for the National College Football Hall of Fame until his selection in 2007.