Kalkaska’s Jeremy Wilkinson to be Inducted into NMU Sports HOF
KALKASKA – A record-setting collegiate career will be recognized Friday, when Kalkaska varsity football coach Jeremy Wilkinson is inducted into Northern Michigan University’s Sports Hall of Fame.
A three-sport athlete at Kalkaska High School, Wilkinson starred at wide receiver for NMU from 1994-1999, garnering all-league honors three times, before embarking on a professional career with the Quad City Steamwheelers (2000-01) of the af2 and the New Jersey/Las Vegas Gladiators (2002-04) of the Arena Football League. Wilkinson would win two ArenaCup titles with the Steamwheelers.
"I got the call, I do believe it was April or May, but I didn’t think too much about it when I got the letter,” Wilkinson said on his induction. “Now, as it’s getting closer, I’m starting to get nervous, it’s becoming a little bigger of a deal to be honored. It’s more along the lines of an individual award and that’s something that I don’t like, I don’t like the attention. There’s a lot of people that played a big part, a big role in that accomplishment, so there’s a lot of people involved.
"It doesn’t feel like it has been that long, 18 years. It does feel like it has been a long time to be back there, but the atmosphere is going to be awesome."
Wilkinson’s name can be found throughout NMU’s record books, as he still holds the school record for single-game receiving touchdowns (12), single-season touchdowns (12), career receiving yards (3,367 yards) and career touchdown receptions (35).
Not bad for a former preferred walk-on.
"When I first went up there, looking at all the plaques, all the names and stuff on the wall, I used to think how great it would be to have your name up there,” Wilkinson said. “After I broke a few of the records for them to still be standing, I guess it means a lot that after all this time the records are still there. Did I ever think I’d be inducted into the hall of fame? No, I didn’t, honestly, so, I guess once the ceremony does happen, I think it’ll really set in."
A physical education/health education instructor at Kalkaska Middle School, Wilkinson was named Kalkaska’s varsity football coach in 2009 and currently has the Blazers out to their best start (4-0) since their undefeated 1981 season (9-0).
Wilkinson and the Blazers go for their fifth win of the season Thursday against Cheboygan.