Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Massachusetts Football Recruit Profile: Mark Wright

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Throughout January our SuitePreps section will be rolling out profiles on some of the top football recruits in Massachusetts, all leading up to National Signing Day on February 4th. We continue our rundown today with one of the state's most prolific running backs ever, Auburn's Mark Wright.

Mark Wright

Auburn High School
Running Back

5'8'', 170 lbs.
College Choice: Undecided (Leaning toward a Post Grad year at Maine's Bridgton Academy. Hearing from UMass, New Hampshire, Sacred Heart, Marist & Wagner)
Senior Highlights


ESPN Scouts Inc.- 2 stars, 63/100, #24 in MA, #195 RB

Ranking Note: ESPN, like most recruiting services, grades on the "star scale," awarding players between 1-5 stars, but it also grades on a 1-100 scale to place players more precisely.

Strengths: Vision, quickness, spin move

Areas to Improve: Long speed, size

One of the most prolific backs in Massachusetts history, only an injury on Thanksgiving Day prevented Wright from setting both the state's single-season rushing record, and the Central Mass career rushing record.

Wright left Auburn's season finale with an injury and just 20 yards rushing, and sat 293 yards shy of former Putnam Voke star Melquawn Pinkney's single-season state mark. If you think that record was out of reach, you didn't pay attention to Wright the last two years.

While leading Central Mass in rushing both seasons, and the state overall as a senior, 300+ yard days were the norm for Wright, who finished 2014 with 2,607 yards and 28 touchdowns on 249 carries, good for 10.5 yards a pop.

With one of the state's most feared spin moves, Wright was a threat to score every time he touched the ball. Wright's vision and deceptive strength also allowed him to set up his blockers and run through arms tackles at the point of attack, while his shiftiness spun defensive backs around at the next level of the defense.

The knock on Wright has been his size and perceived lack of break away speed. After watching him play, I think those are both a bit overstated. At this point we've seen plenty of backs succeed at around his size, and Wright certainly wasn't caught from behind often in high school. His shiftiness and strength should be enough to make up for these supposed weaknesses, but he'll definitely need a year or two more of filling out to withstand the rigors of major college football.

That's one of the reasons a Post Grad year makes sense for Wright, the others have to do with him learning to do the little things. At Auburn the entire offense revolved around his ability to run the ball. So much so, that he rarely was given the opportunity to show what he can do in blitz pick up or as a receiver. It may seem counterintuitive, but a potentially reduced role at Bridgton Academy, or wherever he Post Grads, could make Wright a more complete back.

As it is now, he projects to be a nice spread back at the D2 or FCS level, but another year of bulking up and rounding out his game could lead to some serious FBS interest.

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