By Otis Kirk
The bloodlines are certainly there for Vian (Okla.) 2020 linebacker-safety Elijah Wright. He was among the recruits at Arkansas’ Prospect Day on Sunday.
Following the visit, Wright talked about his impressions of Arkansas.
“The visit went really well,” Wright said. “I talked to Coach Barry Lunney a couple of weeks ago. He contacted me and asked me to come down and see them. So I just like all the staff and the facilties a lot. They are very nice.”
As far as the Arkansas visit, what was maybe the two or three highlights that stood out most to you?
“The way they have the tutors and just where all the student-athletes go to finish their work and they can get help,” Wright said. “The nutrition center where they have a dietician. The weight room where the coaches can work you out hard and get your body right for the season.
“The facilities were really nice. I liked the stadium and I saw the locker room they are rebuilding right now. The practice fields were pretty cool where they have a grass one and turf one depending on the team they are playing.”
Wright, 6-0, 205, plays on both sides of the ball for the Wolverines. He talked about where he sees himself playing in college.
“Right now it’s either safety or linebacker,” Wright said. “I’m in between right now. So whatever the school wants me at is what I will play.”
As a junior, Wright finished with 92 tackles, 12 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, four interceptions, six forced fumbles and five returns for touchdowns. He helped the team to a 10-3 record.
“It went well,” Wright said. “We could have done better in defending the passing game, but we had a good shot to win it, but we came up short. We have another good chance to win in next year and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”
Wright’s father is Kenyatta Wright who was a four-year starter at Oklahoma State. He was the leader of the Orange Crush Defense in Stillwater. He spent five years in the NFL, two with Buffalo and three with the New York Jets. The younger Wright credited his father for much of his success to this point.
“He has been my coach forever,” Wright said. “I go to him when I have a question about something. We watch film together. Not only is he my mentor in football, but also in my faith. He pushes me to be the best I can be as well as my little brother. Just having him right beside me every day of the week helps me a lot. I’ve just gotten smarter and just being around the game has made me a pretty good football player.”
Wright was offered by Eastern Michigan on Jan. 23. More offers will soon follow. Wright talked about the other schools showing interest in him in addition to Arkansas and Eastern Michigan.
“Oklahoma, OSU, TCU, Iowa State and Texas Tech,” Wright said.
As far as strengths on the field, Wright listed what he feels he is doing best at this time.
“I feel like I move in space well,” Wright said. “I have speed to keep up with the wide receivers and power to tackle the running backs. Overall, I’m a student of the game. I know what is gonna happen before it happens pretty much.”
He also talked about what he needs to work on the most.
“I just started playing linebacker so knowing how to read the guards and everything about the position,” Wright said. “Working with my dad. He played linebacker in the NFL so he knows everything…the in’s and out’s of it. So I can just work with him and get to know everything before I go to college.”
Wright said Sunday’s trip to Arkansas was his first since he was age five or six.