Fairfield, California native Daniel Wright got involved with the game of football at age six and ever since that time, football has been more than just a game for him.
“…I started playing because there was a lot of stuff going on with my family. Just looking at my family and where they were in their lives, I knew years from then I wouldn’t want to be in the same position so I started playing football as a stress reliever and also a way to just get out, free my mind and have fun,” Wright said.
Wright has had to go through a lot of adversity off the field. He lost his uncle at the age of 15, has had an estranged relationship with his father and was involved in a car accident a month ago that thankfully didn’t result in injury. Despite all of that, he remains level headed and motivated to do great things on the field for himself and his family.
“Football was a huge form of therapy because when I’m playing football in between those lines, it’s like I forget about everything else. I’m just worried about what’s happening on the field and what I can do to make people happy and make them smile. It’s been good because when I not playing football, I realize that some things are just harder to not think about. Playing football is extreme therapy,” he said.
He realized after his accident, that the gifts and talents that he possesses cannot be taken for granted.
“Because a lot of stuff has been going on and then just the talent that I have, in that car accident, the thing that I got out of it in walking away with no scratches is this, it is a talent that God has given me and He’s not going to take it away from me or let anything else take it away from me. At that moment, I just realized I’m going to take the talent and do some great things with it because I owe Him a thank you with this.”
Wright will be a senior at Vacaville High School in Vacaville, Ca, and his junior season was very impressive. The five-foot-nine, 190 pound running back recorded 1,259 rushing yards on 139 carries and saw the end zone 15 times. Those numbers are great but the one stat that sticks out is his yards per carry average, which was 9.1. He also had six 100 yard rushing games in 10 games played.
The scholarship offers haven’t exactly been rolling in for him but he said that he was relieved when his offers from Kentucky Christian University and Northern Colorado University, his first Division I offer, found him.
“It was relieving because going through a lot and then just being able to know that someone sees you and they were able to give you a chance, it was a pretty overwhelming but happy feeling at the same time. It makes me happy knowing that I can say that I have a free education that I can get through football,” he said.
He has high interest in Utah, UCLA and San Diego State. The University of California, Wright says would be an ideal situation for him in terms of football and family.
“Getting a scholarship from them would mean a lot because it’s like playing in my backyard. It’s not too far but not too close so I can get away. Also, I don’t want to be too far from home because in being a football player, I want to be able to help people in my community and those around me,” he said. “I’d like to stay because I don’t want to leave them all behind. Playing football in my backyard would be nice because I could never leave them and I’ll always be here for them so that would be good.”
He visited the University of California February 18, 2016 and his thoughts on the school are very high.
“What better way to make it then to make it out of a place you came from. It’s close to home. …Perfect. I love the program they have, [the] coaches care [about] a lot more than the football. [To them], it’s about education and your future. Not just about the time you have on the field,” Wright said.
He’s looking forward to talks progressing with the school when the season starts he said as well.
He plans to visit the University of California-Davis and Sacramento State who have shown a lot of interest in him as of late he says.
“UC Davis has shown the most love. When I went to there camp, there was nothing but positive energy and great coaches there to help,” Wright said.
Sacramento State and UC Davis’s camps are the only ones Daniel Wright has been to and will be the only ones he attends at this point in his recruiting process. He said both treated him very well and he looks forward to going back and visiting both schools soon.
As far as his last season as a Vacaville Bulldog is concerned, he wants to win a championship, not only for his exposure but his teammates’ exposure as well.
“It would mean a lot because growing up I’ve always said I wanted to walk around, wear a ring and just see what that feeling’s like. It would mean a lot to me because I’m overcoming a lot of things and it would not only be giving me more exposure on the field but my teammates and those guys that are kind of underrated, it would give them a chance to be looked at by [college scouts],” he said.
He’ll also miss the tradition associated with Vacaville High School and he has two messages: one for the younger players coming up in addition to a message for himself.
“…Leaving Vacaville, I want to leave the message to the youngsters that there are points in your life that you’ll have to overcome, people are going to doubt you. Keep your head in the books and school and put all your effort into everything you do on the field and you’re going to get rewarded one day.”
“You could take my possessions, you can unwrap my gifts but you can never take what’s inside and all my blessings from God,” Daniel Wright said.
More on Daniel Wright:
Daniel Wright Q&A: New Beginnings, Overcoming Injuries And Off Field Revelations
Daniel Wright: The Next Phase Has Begun As A Weber State Wildcat
Heisman Trophy Finalists Include Joe Burrow, Justin fields, Jalen Hurts, Chase Young
The finalists for the Heisman Trophy have been unveiled and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and defensive end Chase Young are headed to New York this weekend for the 85th edition of the award for the most outstanding college football player.
The winner will be announced on Saturday night during a ceremony that kicks off at 8pm est on ESPN.
“In my opinion, he should win it,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said, according to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura. “In my opinion, he’s going to win it. The best thing about Joe is he’s a team player. All he wants to do is win this game. Individual awards are not high on his list. That’s what makes him such a great team player.”
While Burrow may have the most momentum heading into the ceremony, and is the likely number 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Young is the first Ohio State defensive player to finish in the top four in Heisman voting, and Young is the first defensive player from the Big Ten to do so since Michigan’s Charles Woodson won the award all the back in 1997.
Young led the nation with 16.5 sacks and in tackles for loss per game with 1.9.
Additionally, Ohio State is the seventh school to have multiple players invited to the Heisman ceremony in the same year, but the first to have both an offensive player and a defensive player.
Rutgers Brings Back Greg Schiano with Eight-Year, $32 Million Deal
Rutgers is bringing back Greg Schiano as their head coach following a lengthy negotiation process that has led to an eight-year, $32 million deal, according to ESPN.
“Today we open the next great chapter for Rutgers Football,” Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs said. “Coach Schiano is absolutely the best person to lead our program. He brings a quality of leadership and integrity that will make all of us proud in the years ahead. I couldn’t be more excited for our student-athletes and our fans.
“A lot of hard work lies ahead, but we will all keep chopping together with Coach to achieve success in the Big Ten. We all know what the goal is and we all must do our part. I can’t express enough appreciation to Greg and Christy Schiano, the first family of Rutgers Football. Welcome back!”
Schiano went 68-67 from 2001-2011 as Rutgers head coach.
“Rutgers University and this football program have meant the world to me and my family,” Schiano said in a statement put out by the school. “I arrived here in 2000 with the goal to build a program that would be a source of pride for the state of New Jersey and develop great young men. I look forward to embracing that challenge once again. This is a great opportunity for all of Rutgers to pull together to get us back to where we all know we belong. It will take everyone on this campus and in the State of Rutgers to get this done.”
Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become the head coach of the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, in a tenure that lasted just two years.
“I commend Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs and Coach Schiano for reaching an agreement following very complex negotiations to bring on this new, exciting chapter for Rutgers Athletics,” Rutgers President Robert Barchi said. “We are all thrilled to welcome Coach Schiano. He is the right coach at the right time to build our Big Ten football program into a long-running source of pride for Rutgers.”
Ole Miss Fires Matt Luke
Ole Miss is moving on from head coach Matt Luke, who was fired on Sunday following three seasons at the helm of the Rebels.
“After evaluating the overall trajectory of our football program, we did not see enough momentum on the field and determined a change is necessary in order for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level” Athletics director Keith Carter said in an official statement.
“While improvements were evident in certain aspects of the program, we are judged ultimately by our record, and, unfortunately, we did not meet the standard of success that we expect from our program. We will always be grateful to Coach Luke for his leadership, particularly from a recruiting, academic and overall culture standpoint. At the same time, winning is important, and we know that we can compete for championships at Ole Miss.
“A search is underway to find a new head coach who can build a complete program that attracts top talent, develops them as young men and sustains a winning mentality. We will be looking for the leadership, energy and commitment to excellence necessary to compete in the Southeastern Conference and galvanize our passionate fan base.”
Luke compiled a 15-21 record during his tenure at Ole Miss.
According to the Clarion Ledger’s Nick Suss, the firing of Luke was not well-received by some of the players, with some storming out of the team meeting angry over the decision.
Many are speculating that the Egg Bowl was what set the firing in motion. However, it is worth noting that attendance was becoming an issue in the midst of a losing season, and with a new athletic director in the fold, change was likely coming sooner or later.
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