Burnell Micheal Wallace III, usually known as Mike Wallace, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 1, 1986. A wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins, Wallace is known for his exceptional speed and is generally considered to be one of the NFL's fastest players. In 2012, he placed inside the top 50 players on the annual NFL Top 100 list.
Wallace began playing football at O. Perry Walker High School in New Orleans, where he lined up alongside future NFL cornerback, Keenan Lewis. Wallace set various school records, including the record for kick return touchdowns. At the end of his senior year, he was named as the league's Most Valuable Player and an All-State player.
After originally accepting a scholarship from Oregon State, Wallace instead opted to attend the University of Mississippi, where Frank Wilson, his high school coach, was also moving in order to join the coaching staff. He made his debut in 2005 as a true freshman, but became a regular in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, featuring in all 24 games across the two years. At the end of 2007, Wallace was named third team All-SEC.
During the 2009 NFL Draft, Wallace was selected in the third round, as the 84th overall pick, by the Pittsburgh Steelers. At the end of his rookie season, he led the NFL for average reception yards and was named as the Pittsburgh Steelers Rookie of the Year. In 2010, Wallace further established himself and helped the team to win the AFC Championship. As a result, they earned a trip to Super Bowl XLV, but were eventually beaten by the Green Bay Packers. At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Wallace was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, although the Steelers only made it as far as the Wildcard round of the NFL Playoffs.
Following the 2012 season, Wallace's contract expired and he became a free agent, with many analysts calling him the top free agent prospect. Despite receiving a large contract offer from the Minnesota Vikings, Wallace chose instead to sign with the Miami Dolphins. In his first season with the team, the Dolphins posted an 8-8 record and finished third in the AFC Eastern Division, failing to clinch a playoff berth.
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