Navy beats Army for Wright

The decision came down to Army or Navy for Kendel Wright of Mountain View (Lawrenceville, Ga.) High School. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound offensive lineman was heavily recruited by both service academies since his junior year. An early November official visit to Annapolis proved to be the difference and Wright gave his declaration for Navy.

Wright discussed his decision with and also recapped his playing career in metro Atlanta.

"The main thing with Navy," Wright said, "is I have family about an hour away from Annapolis. It's a city that I really enjoyed being in. I looked at the two football programs and Navy has been a lot more successful recently than Army. The coaching staff helped a lot too. They're great.

"I took unofficial visits to both campuses this past summer. I decided to go back to Navy for the Notre Dame game. There was a group of about eight of us who had committed or were seriously thinking about committing and we really got close that weekend. The game was amazing even though it didn't turn out quite the way we were hoping it would. I got to talk to a lot of the players. William Tuider, an outside linebacker, is a former teammate of mine. He showed us around a little bit. When I was leaving, I kind of let the coaches know that's where I wanted to be.

At Mountain View's post-season football banquet, Wright collected honors for First Team All-Region, Second Team All-Gwinnett County, and was named his team's Offensive Most Valuable Player. He started the last two seasons at center for the Bears but has also played tackle and guard during his prep career.

"When I first started talking with Ashley Ingram (of Navy)," he said, "he said that I was versatile enough to play any position on the line. I'm excited to learn from Coach Ingram and Coach Culton. Just looking at what they've done at Navy and how the players act towards them during practice, you can tell they both really know what they're doing. We ran the triple option my sophomore year when I played tackle. It was an offense I felt like I did well in and I know, at Navy, I'll be learning from two of the best.

"It's a real relief to have made my decision. My whole family is excited. The Navy coaches all seemed pretty excited. When Army first offered me in March, I wasn't really thinking about serving in the military. The more I learned about it, the more I thought it was something I not only could do but should do. The military aspect actually ended up being a big factor in my decision at the end. I'm very excited for the opportunity to serve."

Wright held offers from Army, Charleston Southern, Elon, Fordham, Georgia State, Navy, and VMI. He'll begin his Navy career as a "NAPSter" in Newport, R.I. Top Stories