Holding His Own!
As a 5’8′, 153lb, 15yr old Sophmore at Lincoln High School in Coney Island, Brooklyn, Corey Wright Jr. has had a breakthrough season as the Railsplitters starting running back, safety and kicker. In his first year getting some real burn, as he rode the bench much of his freshman year, other than starting as kicker, Wright has done more than leave supporters and even naysayers, stunned.
With his dominating defensive awareness; quick enough to make stops in the backfield, fast enough to run down backs and receivers who make it to his level on the field, and sharp enough, with good enough hands, to make timely pics, Wright has solidified himself as a defensive stopper!
Now let’s talk about offense. Wright, donning the infamous jersey #21, since he began playing organized football, taking after one of his favorite professional players, Ladainian Tomlinson, formerly of the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets, believes that strength, power, quickness, agility and a natural eye for finding the holes is essential in making any running back great. As someone who has been in and around sports my entire life, I must say that Wright holds his own in terms of “great” running backs, at least at this early stage in his career.
Standing 5’8″ and 153lbs, Wright is not what you would necessarily call a big back, but boy is he strong. Ask anyone who has tried to tackle him. In just his first year as starting running back, from the beginning of the season, Wright showed no apprehensions, no inhibitions, and no thoughts that he couldn’t dominate any defense that he faced.
When the season was finally over, and the Railsplitters JV team went on to a 9-1 record, I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing Wright, who happens to be my cousin. I must say that this interview was so honest, so pure, so direct and straight to the point, it’s hard to imagine that this young man, who is mature beyond his years, is only 15yrs old.
LM: Why do you play football?
CW: Honestly, because I enjoy it.
LM: How’d you get into football?
CW: Since I was a child my father and older cousin, you, always had me around when y’all played.
LM: Your numbers in your first year starting HS football are pretty impressive, are you surprised at all?
CW: A little bit. I’m actually surprised I got to play. But honestly, the game itself, it was pretty easy.
LM: How is HS football different from the previous level youth football?
CW: A little more intense.
LM: What have you learned in your first year?
CW: It’s pretty much the same.
LM: You are the starting running back, safety and kicker, how is it playing that much?
CW: It’s fun being on the field a lot. It does take a lot of energy though. I think I handled it pretty well.
LM: Which position is your favorite?
CW: Aww man, I love playing both sides of the ball, can’t really say either is my favorite.
LM: Varsity is next, are you ready?
LM: Do you think football helps you with everyday life?
CW: Yes, it helps me relieve stress. Stress from school, and just being a teenager.
LM: Do you see yourself playing college football and then possibly at the professional level?
CW: Yes sir, I hope so!
LM: If you could pick your college, where would you go?
CW: Alabama! I love their program.
LM: Dream NFL team?
LM: If you weren’t playing football right now, how would you occupy your time?
CW: I’d play basketball.
LM: You got skills on the court?
CW: Yeah, you saw me! (chuckles)
LM: Your two little brothers play football too, do you think you influenced that?
LM: How does it feel being a positive role model for your brothers?
CW: It feels real good.
LM: What are 3 things people don’t know about you?
CW: I love joking around, I love to cook, only because I love to eat (he laughs), and I love dogs.
LM: If there was ONE NFL player you could train with right now, who would it be and why?
CW: Adrian Peterson, without a doubt! That guy is dominating the running back position right now.
LM: You’re doing pretty good with football, plus your grades are good. How important is it to keep good grades?
CW: Extremely important! Your grades determine your future.
LM: Imagine winning the Super Bowl, and being named Super Bowl MVP, what’s the FIRST thing you say?
CW: I wanna thank all my family members for supporting me. This is a long time dream that I’ve accomplished.
LM: If you believe it, young fella, it can become your reality. Keep up the great work!
CW: Thank You!
Whew! That was a great interview. Below you can see Wright’s actual statistics, both offensively and defensively.
Offense: (Running) Carries; 67, Yards; 725, Average; 10.82, Longest carry; 65yds, TD’s; 10, Fumbles; 1 (Receiving) Catches; 2, Yards; 5
Defense: Tackles; 27, Fumbles Rec; 2, INT’s; 3, TD’s; 1
Overall: Games Played; 9, Total TD’s; 11, Points; 104
Keep in mind that Wright played only the first half of more than half the games played, and in some cases, played only 1 quarter, and the stats from the 10th and final game were not calculated.
After completing the season with the JV team, Wright began practicing with the Varsity team, even played in 2 games, gaining just 16 yards on 5 carries, but did have a 10 yard run for a touchdown. He also caught 2 passes for 10 yards. I think as he stated, and so it seems, that he’s ready for a full season in the Varsity division.
Highlights, defense, and offense. (Wright #21, 1st 3 highlights in white, last 2 in blue)