LB-Scooby Wright III

Discussion in 'College Football Stars' started by TwentyTwo, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. TwentyTwo

    TwentyTwo Master

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    Nice article on Scooby Wright III who is a Nagurski Award Finalist & as just mentioned as one of Four Finalist for the 2014 Lombardi Award!

    At 6'-1" 246 it did not take a half of football on August 30th's Season Opening game post on Arizona Wildcats thread.... to realize he was a Special Player who will be in the NFL & wreck havoc like young studs Paul Worrilow & Chris Borland are doing! Dude plays with a chip on his shoulders!

    Great story on his payback to the Cal Bears who were NOT interested in him out of HS...He went ahead and made them sorry when he recorded 18 tackles, including four for loss and two sacks, and a forced fumble in Arizona's win vs the Bears.
    He also ripped & stole the ball out of Marcus Mariota's arms at the end of 4th qtr. to seal the deal in their Win vs the Ducks!

    Scooby Wright, the underdog, is the face of Arizona football
    Scooby the Underdog wasn't supposed to be a five-star recruit.

    His story still could have turned out well, perhaps really well, if such a rating had been bestowed upon him. Phillip Wright III still had enough drive, enough work ethic, enough "Humble Scooby," as Arizona teammate Will Parks says, to be great if everyone thought he would be great.

    But would he be this great? Would Arizona's sophomore linebacker be a front-runner for Pac-12 defensive player of the year, a guaranteed All-American, and a finalist for the national defensive player of the year (Nagurski Trophy) and the Lombardi Award, if he heard how good he would be in recruiting? Would he be the face of an overachieving team, ranked 15th nationally, filled with similarly overlooked players?

    "I told our staff," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said, "we've got to find as many Scooby Wrights as we can. Whatever he was so-called out of high school, you can't say he wasn't a five-star for us."


    Wright was a two-star recruit, as his Twitter handle, @twostarscoob, reminds everyone, especially the Pac-12 coaches who viewed him that way coming out of Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa, California. A recruiting process that brought more angst and anger than enjoyment didn't light the fire inside Wright, but it fans the flames every time he plays.

    Cal didn't want him. He recorded 18 tackles, including four for loss and two sacks, and a forced fumble in Arizona's win against the Bears.
    Washington dragged its feet. Scooby's answer: 11 tackles, 1.5 for loss, in last Saturday's win.

    "He plays with that chip," said Matt Dudek, Arizona's director of on-campus recruiting and player personnel. "Like, 'I wasn't good enough for you. Now I'm going to have 19 tackles against you. I'm going to steal the ball three times.'"

    When Arizona offered a scholarship in June 2012, Wright had been scheduled to attend camps at Oregon and UCLA. He thought: They never gave me the time of day. Why would I go?

    He ended an upset of Oregon on Oct. 2 with a sack-strip-recovery against star quarterback Marcus Mariota. Arizona lost to UCLA, but Wright recorded 19 tackles, 4.5 for loss and three sacks. His numbers against the Pac-12: 84 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and five forced fumbles.

    "It definitely fires me up," said Wright, who leads the nation in tackles for loss per game (2.1) and forced fumbles (5), and ranks third in sacks per game (1.2). "I went to all those combines and stuff. People always questioned my athleticism. I had one of the highest SPARQ scores in the country, like 112.

    "It definitely motivated me more, being overlooked."

    The overlooked label seemed to suit Wright, even before it was attached. With some exceptions, those told they are great don't approach football like he does.

    Arizona's Scooby Wright has terrorized Pac-12 foes this season, totaling 84 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and five forced fumbles.

    As an eighth grader, Wright woke up his father, Phil, at 5:30 a.m., four times a week to get a ride to the high school. He would lift weights with the varsity players for an hour, hop back in the car, shower at home, and then head to the other side of town to his middle school for classes.

    While at Cardinal Newman, Wright was the last player off the practice field. When he did leave the field, he and defensive coordinator Matt Di Meola would work on pass-rush techniques in Di Meola's backyard, or watch film. They spent many Sundays together, too. By the eighth game of Wright's sophomore year, he was Newman's best player.

    "I don't know if we've ever seen a kid attack it like that," Cardinal Newman coach Paul Cronin said. "Scooby was just fanatical. You just think if someone works that hard, it has to work out."

    Maybe Wright would have had the same drive as a four- or five-star recruit. But the snubs sharpened him.

    "That stuff just ate at him, killed him. That stuff makes him work harder," said his dad, Phil, who coaches softball at Santa Rosa Junior College. "It seems crazy, but he wants to keep proving himself. I don't think it’s because he's mad and upset. He wants to prove people wrong.

    "We always laugh and call him 'The Waterboy,' with tackling fuel."

    Pac-12 opponents always will be lit matches for that fuel, but Wright's fire burns for Arizona.

    He's the team's most recognizable player, both because of his game and his name. The quick backstory: Phil Wright, hoping to avoid the confusion he endured with his own father, started calling his son "Scooby" at a young age. It stuck.

    "Ninety percent of people in his high school didn't know his name," Phil Wright said. "The only thing that says Phillip Wright is his driver's license."

    He will always be Scooby at Arizona Stadium, where more fans are donning "Scooby's Crew" T-shirts. The T-shirts started with family and friends, but the increased demand led Phil to make several hundred more, and different versions.

    Scooby has the fame he never had in high school, although he is not totally comfortable with it. Two days after the UCLA game, he was informed he had won his second consecutive Pac-12 defensive player of the week award. His response: "I don't care. We lost."

    Still, he takes nothing for granted.

    "He walks up to me after every game and says, 'Thanks for believing in me,'" Dudek said. "He doesn't want to be anywhere else."

    Former Wildcats assistant Tony Gibson, now West Virginia's defensive coordinator, first identified Wright in spring 2012. The staff loved his high school highlights, but Rodriguez, aware of Wright's few suitors, wondered, "What are we missing?" He concluded the others were missing out and offered Wright, hoping no one would pick up the scent.

    Wright committed June 21, his parents' anniversary.

    "It really happened within a week," he said. "I never looked back. There was no gray. They were super straightforward, like, 'I want you.'"

    Three days after graduation, Wright arrived at Arizona's campus. He started at outside linebacker as a true freshman and recorded 83 tackles, 9.5 for loss, but "played kind of blind." He wasn't used in pass-rush situations with four down linemen.

    So he kept working.

    "He was like a young Marine," said Parks, a Wildcats safety. "Most young guys come in timid. He's just got that energy, that Scooby mentality."

    Wright is now a fixture in Arizona's third-down package, playing both defensive end and linebacker, as he did in high school. He's the only FBS player in the top 25 averages for tackles, tackles for loss, sacks and forced fumbles.

    "It's just something he has a knack for," safeties coach Matt Caponi said. "He's not the most mobile guy, but he's got that nonstop in him."

    Wright corresponds with Tedy Bruschi, who, like Wright, was a lightly recruited player from Northern California who landed at Arizona. Bruschi became a two-time consensus All-American, leading the "Desert Swarm" defense.

    "Tedy Bruschi was Scooby Wright before Scooby Wright," Rodriguez said.

    Bruschi played on good teams, but Wright wants to lead a great team.

    The two-star underdog wants to take Arizona to a five-star resort where it has never been: the Rose Bowl.

    "That'd be the ultimate goal," he said. "Nobody's going to come back in 20 years and say, 'Oh, you had 20 tackles in this game.' If your team wins, that's all that matters in the end."

    http://espn.go.com/blog/pac12/post/...-the-underdog-is-the-face-of-arizona-football
     
  2. FootballDad

    FootballDad Hall of Famer

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    Yeah. If RichRod and other coaches weren't so endeared to the caste system and the caste recruiting "services" they could find countless "Scooby Wrights" out in the hinterlands. Unfortunately, when the first requirement is black skin color, it makes the Scooby Wrights downright difficult to locate.
     
  3. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

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  4. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

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  5. Freethinker

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    Total beast. Sort of reminds me of Connor Barwin, with his speed and athleticism. A disruptive force for sure.
     
  6. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

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    Another unbelievable performance by Scooby Wright against rival Arizona State. He was a one man wrecking crew with 2 sacks, 5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble to go with countless tackles and pressures on both of ASU's quarterbacks. The Wildcats beat the Sun Devils and ended up winning the Pac 12 South. Amazing for such a young team. They will play against the Oregon Ducks this Friday in the Pac 12 Championship Game. Marriota better have his running shoes on as the Cats beat them the last two times they played. If you guys haven't seen the kid play, tune in on Friday. In my honest opinion he will win the national defensive player of the year as only a sophmore. Incredible talent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  7. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    Scooby has won the Lombardi award to go with his bronco nagurski award :thumbup:
     
  8. celticdb15

    celticdb15 Hall of Famer

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    Scooby!!!!
     
  9. white lightning

    white lightning Hall of Famer Staff Member

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    The kid is an animal. What a great athlete and by far the best defensive player in all of the country. He will come back for one more year at the U of A before we get to watch him on Sundays.

    Congrats to Scooby Wright III. To think that the University of Arizona was the only college to give him a scholarship offer. It's things like this that make my blood boil. Just another of thousands of kids decade after decade overlooked because the color of their skin. For once justice was served. Maybe this will open a few schools eyes.

    It's amazing any of our athletes ever make it. The overwhelming odds they face are incredible. When you see athletes like JJ Watt, Jordy Nelson, Scooby Wright, and countless others, it makes you wonder if things will ever change. They just cannot ever equate elite athleticism and talent with white athletes. It's so frustrating.

    Anyways, I had to rant a little. Happy the kid won both awards.
     
  10. Riddlewire

    Riddlewire Master

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    I don't think anyone can deny that it's highly suspicious when the nation's unanimously recognized best defensive player not only doesn't win the award for best linebacker, but doesn't even finish in the top four in votes.
    That just doesn't happen. Ever.

    I had to dig into this fishy situation, so I looked up the Butkus Award, trying to figure out how they pick their winner.

    On their website, they reveal that the selection process is conducted by "...an independent Butkus Award Selection Committee ... including professional, college, and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists...".

    Well, that certainly explains a lot. "Scouts". Meaning the same group of negrophiles that comprise the bowels of Rivals, Scout, ESPN, and 247. And I'm guessing most of the "prominent sports journalists" that they're referring to have names ending in -stein and -berg.
     
  11. Freethinker

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    A big congrats to Scooby Dooby Doo!!

    I agree with Riddlewire, that the Butkus Award selection was a bunch of bull but 4 awards in total isn't bad.

    [​IMG]
    Caption: Bronko Nagurski Award (Top Defensive Player)

    [​IMG]
    Caption: Chuck Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year)

    [​IMG]
    Caption: Rotary Lombardi Award (Top Defensive Lineman)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Phall

    Phall Mentor

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    Scooby might have been a bit "lucky" to get his Arizona offer. Is my math right that it came in the spring of his senior year of high school, in other words well after his four year high school career was over? Rich Rodriguez wound up fielding a roster with over 40 new faces via JUCO-transfers and true freshmen the year prior, if I recall correctly, so he was definitely on the prowl for 'diamonds in the rough'; Scooby seems to have caught his eye very late in the process.

    Rodriguez, infamous for his dumb black quarterbacks, has found white defensive backs with similar pedigrees to play for his teams before. Two-star Ray Vinopal and student-body walk-on Jordan Kovacs both became underclassmen starters at Michigan ahead of older and more "star"-studded black teammates. At Arizona, Jared Tevis has been a three-year starter for Rodriguez, as well as senior captain Dan Pettinato. So, there's hope that we will see a few more Scooby Wrights come through the Arizona pipeline in the coming years.

    One big reason I was so disappointed in Penn State's affirmative action head coach was that it seemed like it would negate the school's "recruiting advantage" in the face of big scholarship sanctions. Specifically, Penn State would have to rely on white 2-stars instead of magical 4-stars to fill out their roster and lure their overlooked white walk-ons with the prospect of playing time. A few years of this influx and you'd have a confoundingly-successful roster like Wisconsin. Instead, you have a black coach squandering his stud pocket passer and a new frontier of 8-4 season ceilings.

    As for Scooby, the middle of the 3-3-5 suits him great at his measurements. He gets an extra step to identify a gap before stuffing it, and the flex-safety provides a bit of extra cover on the outside, funneling him inward as a tackling machine for the bend-don't-break scheme. I'm intrigued to see how his skills are utilized in the pros - a 3-4 MIKE seems like the closest translation, but I wonder if he could put an occasional arm down as an undersized rusher a la Elvis Dumervil.
     
  13. Extra Point

    Extra Point Master

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    Scooby Wright was drafted by the Browns, signed to their practice squad but later released. He was then signed by the Cardinals.

    The Cardinals play a 3-4 so that's a good fit for him. To me, he projects as an inside linebacker in a 3-4.

    Wright missed most of his last year in college due to knee and foot injuries. 2016 was his first year coming back from them.

    With a year's professional experience and his injuries behind him I think he can do well in 2017. Maybe he'll even be a starter.
     
  14. Extra Point

    Extra Point Master

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    Wright is on the roster of the Cardinals. All he needs is a chance to play...
     
  15. Extra Point

    Extra Point Master

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    Scooby Wright has gotten almost no regular playing time this year. The Cardinals have some older players. They're out of the playoffs. Why not give a player like Wright a chance?
     

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