'Their Defense Is Legit'

Hampton (Va.) Phoebus Linebacker Matt Wright has seen his recruitment explode during the May evaluation period.

"Things couldn't be any better than they are right now," Matt Wright told Pack Pride. "I already have ten offers in this first week of May. Marshall, UVA, Kent State, UNC, NC State, Maryland, and West Virginia are some of them that have came through with offers."

Wright, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker prospect blessed with outstanding athleticism, blossomed in his first year at the position after playing defensive end his first two seasons at Phoebus.

"Last year was one of my best years," Wright said. "That was my first time playing linebacker, and you've got to get used to it. After I learned the reads and the position, everything started to come along. I finished the season with 124 tackles, 26 for loss, five sacks, and two interceptions."

With the heavy interest coming from different schools over the past couple of weeks, one ACC program in particular impresses Wright with what they have to offer.

"NC State made a great impression on me," Wright said. "They are in need of linebackers and that position is really open if I go there.

"I've started since I was a freshman at Phoebus, so I want to go to a place where I can play right away. I'm not against redshirting, but I want to be on the field, and I see that at NC State the chance to do that is definitely there."

Speaking of Phoebus High School, it is one of the powerhouse programs in Virginia, producing outstanding prep players over the years. However, most outsiders believe the school is a program that's known for sending its best to play at Virginia Tech.

Xavier Adibi, Nathaniel Adibi, Elan Lewis, and Steven Friday have all starred at Phoebus, and each of them inked with the Hokies. Another Phoebus star, D.J. Parker, signed with Virginia Tech after attending Hargrave Military Academy. Parker just so happens to be the brother of Matt Wright, and is projected to start at free safety for the Hokies in 2005.

"It's not like it's a secret or anything because Phoebus is tied to Virginia Tech, everybody knows that," Wright said. "My brother goes to Tech so I'm not going to sit here and lie to you and say it's not one of my favorite schools. I talked to Virginia Tech, and I'm not down on them because they haven't offered yet. They have a lot of young linebackers so it could be a need thing right now.

"But, I lived three years in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and if I went to a school like NC State or UNC it would be like going home. I still have family down in that area so I'm not a lock for anywhere."

This summer he plans on camping at UNC, where he also camped last year, and taking unofficial visits to NC State, Maryland, and Georgia.

Although he's never been to NC State, he was able to see the Wolfpack face Virginia Tech in Blacksburg last year.

"I can't even put into words how well NC State performed in that game," Wright said. "They sacked Bryan Randall ten times and completely exposed Virginia Tech's offensive line. That was probably the best performance on defense I saw last year. Their defense is legit, and they have a lot of those guys like Williams coming back."

As for leaders, Wright isn't ready to name one.

"My eyes are wide open," he said. "I'm going to look at any school that's interested in me."

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