Today, our Class of 2019 Prospect Profile series continues with another elite level recruit considering Virginia Tech — offensive lineman Darnell Wright.
Wright is 6-foot-6, 290-pound prospect from Huntington High School in Huntington, W.V. He’s been a highly-touted recruit for several months and has added several scholarship offers to his total of 22 in recent weeks. Of Wright’s 22 scholarship offers, all but one — Marshall — is from a Power 5 program.
Here are Wright’s ratings and rankings from the major recruiting networks…
Rivals: five-star, No. 2 overall, No. 1 offensive tackle
247Sports: four-star, No. 9 overall, No. 1 offensive tackle
ESPN: four-star, No. 99 overall, No. 9 offensive tackle, No. 2 in West Virginia
There is a bit of a discrepancy between ESPN’s view of Wright and the view of Rivals and 247Sports. As usual, the real answer is likely somewhere in the middle. Let’s break down some available film of Wright to get a better idea.
They key word for offensive linemen is projection. Sure, how prospects at other positions project in the future matters, too, but it matters more so with offensive linemen. This is because offensive linemen are rarely ready to play on day one, and will need at least a redshirt year to get themselves ready.
For Wright, his athleticism is the key. At his size, Wright moves fluidly and effortlessly on both sides of the ball. He easily gets to the sideline to block on outside run plays and should have little issue facing speed off the edge. He also has the strength to handle a bull rush, something he will see a lot of in college. Wright is a physical player on both sides of the ball, and could eventually develop that nasty, “mauler” mentality.
Wright does have things he’ll need to work on at the next level. His technique can be inconsistent, as he often uses his body mass to move defenders instead of proper technique. He’ll need to work on staying low, and using his hands more often. There’s always a step up in competitive level for high school players, but that will be the case even more for Wright. West Virginia isn’t known for being an incredibly talented state for high school football. That said, Huntington is in West Virginia’s AAA classification, so Wright is playing the best talent the state has to offer.
Virginia Tech certainly isn’t the only school making Wright a priority. Alabama and Ohio State are both factors, and Penn State just offered last month. No matter how Wright’s recruitment goes, the Hokies will face some stiff competition.
However, the Hokies have made inroads here. Wright has already visited Virginia Tech on multiple occasions, including a Tech basketball game vs. Miami on Feb. 3.
If Virginia Tech is able to land Wright as a member of the Hokies’ 2019 class, it would be further evidence that Tech’s offensive line recruiting is improving. Last year, Virginia Tech pulled in Walker Culver, who held offers from schools like Auburn and Ohio State. At minimum, Wright is as good as Culver, if not better. Getting these types of players in the program is how you makes strides as a team.