Wright Set to Replace Dorsey at Miami
Feb. 05, 2003
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) _ Kyle Wright has studied the playbook, watched videotape and worked out with the Miami Hurricanes. The early start has given him a chance to replace Ken Dorsey next season.
Wright, widely considered the top high school quarterback in the country and one of six signees already enrolled at Miami, headlined another strong recruiting class for the Hurricanes on Wednesday.
Miami signed 23 players, including 16 from the talent-rich South Florida area, to national letters of intent. Many of the signees, and quite possibly Wright, could help the Hurricanes right away.
``We felt like he was head and shoulders above any of the other quarterbacks we looked at and evaluated,'' coach Larry Coker said.
Wright will participate in spring practice and compete with Brock Berlin, Derrick Crudup and Marc Guillon for Miami's starting quarterback job _ trying to replace Dorsey, who broke nearly every school and Big East passing record.
``If you're afraid of competition you shouldn't lace them up,'' Wright said. ``The depth chart is an aspect you have to look at, but I'm not scared of competition. I'm confident in what I'm able to do and I'm just trying to come in here and work hard and prove that I will be able to play.''
Wright was ranked the second best player in the country by Tom Lemming of the Prep Football Report.
``He's a lot like Dorsey. He's built like him, has the same kind of arm strength and athletic ability,'' Lemming said. ``He's even more sought after than Dorsey was.''
Running back Tyrone Moss from nearby Pompano Beach also could play as a freshman. Willis McGahee left for the NFL despite a serious knee injury and Jason Geathers moved back to wide receiver, leaving Frank Gore and Jarrett Payton at tailback. Gore is still recovering from reconstructive knee surgery last March.
Moss, a 5-foot-10, 210-pound Parade All-American, ran for 2,313 yards and 35 touchdowns last season and led Ely High to the Class 5A state title. He eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark in each of his final three seasons and finished with more than 7,000 yards in his career.
``We evaluated the running backs around the country and we felt like the best running back in America was from here at Ely,'' Coker said. ``We signed Tyrone to help continue the great tradition of running backs at Miami.''
The Hurricanes also signed two of Moss' high school blockers, 6-foot-4, 320-pound Andrew Bain and 6-foot-5, 310-pound Cyrim Wimbs.
Although few offensive linemen play at Miami in their first season, Coker has high expectations from his six incoming defensive linemen.
The Canes lost six defensive linemen last season, including all four starters, and the line is the biggest area of concern heading into fall practice. But Coker is hopeful Vegas Franklin, Dave Howell, Eric Moncur, Bryan Pata, Nate Robinson and Alton Wright will be able to step in quickly.
``I think you'll see that this class is full of special players,'' Coker said.
The best might be Wright, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound passer from Danville, Calif.
He completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,825 yards and 37 touchdowns as a senior last season. He only threw four interceptions. The Parade All-American also rushed for 313 yards and five touchdowns and led Monte Vista High to a second consecutive North Coast Section 3A East Bay championship.
Wright committed to Miami on Sept. 12, the day before his first game last season. He was tired of the stress and strain of recruiting and had already decided that Miami was the place for him.
He called coaches at Tennessee and Southern California, the other two schools he strongly considered, and gave them the news. Then he started helping the Hurricanes, contacting other recruits and telling them to join him in South Florida.
He also enrolled at Miami last month, getting a head start in school and in his bid to become the next signal caller at ``Quarterback U.''
``There's definitely big shoes to fill and high expectations due to the fact that past quarterbacks have had so much success,'' said Wright, who still plans to return to California for his prom and graduation. ``Hopefully that's a great tradition I'll be able to carry on, but that didn't weigh too much in my decision. I'm trying to do my own thing.''