When the Tennessee Vols picked up a commitment from 2021 three-star running back Jaylen Wright earlier this week, it wasn’t a pickup that moved the needle much.
Wright, 6-foot/185 lbs from Durham, NC, is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 46 running back in the nation and the No. 609 overall 2021 player in the nation.
Those rankings don’t exactly scream elite.
But it appears that Wright is better than his ranking indicates, which is why the Vols strongly pursued him.
The first thing that jumps out about Wright is obviously his speed. The North Carolina native has been clocked at 6.29 seconds in the 55 meter dash. That’s elite speed. And it’s something you can’t teach.
During Jeremy Pruitt’s first few years at Tennessee, his recruiting philosophy has been pretty simple — get bigger and faster.
For far too long, the Vols have looked considerably slower than their SEC counterparts. And that’s a problem. It doesn’t matter how good the play call is — on either side of the ball — speed always wins.
Wright is a player that can bring instant excitement to Tennessee.
Vols offensive coordinator Jim Chaney can line him up in the backfield, or flex him out wide. There will be plenty of opportunities for mismatches with Wright on the field.
Wright’s high school head coach Darius Robinson recently raved to Rivals about UT’s new commit’s abilities, saying “Anytime he touches the ball, if there’s a lane there, it’s going to be a touchdown because of his speed and his explosion”.
Robinson also said that Wright has a great attitude, telling Rivals “He’s got great character and is going to be a great teammate whoever he’s with at the next level”. Robinson added “He’s a ‘Yes sir, no sir kid.’ He’s going to be great in the class room, too”.
It sounds like Pruitt uncovered a hidden gem in North Carolina. That’s not a surprise, though. Pruitt’s an elite talent evaluator. He tends to find players that were overlooked by the major recruiting services.
That’s why I would’t be surprised to see Wright get elevated to four-star status by the time he signs with Tennessee.
Featured image via 247Sports