The Wright Stuff

With Spring football drills slated to start in just over a month, Oregon football fans are beginning to speculate about which new players are ready to make the biggest impact in 2002. The anticipated arrival of one such player stands out among the rest. Roderkus Wright drew raves on the scout team last year and is now targeting primetime.

Wright is a 6-6, 265 pound defensive end that runs a very fast 4.6 forty. He also excels in the weight room, where he can bench 350 pounds, squat 400 pounds and dead lift 500 pounds. Light his fuse and Rod excels at exploding off the defensive line in search of unsuspecting quarterbacks. Ironically, the two things he wants to improve the most this year are his speed and strength. This is a player who is never satisfied and always pushing himself to become the best that he can be.

Even though Roderkus Wright was signed out of San Diego, he had only moved there in 1998 and considers Rocky Mount, North Carolina, home. In fact, during his recruitment, Rod was drawn to the city of Eugene and it's friendly people because it reminded him a lot of Rocky Mount. However, his mother, five younger siblings and his cherished two-year-old son, RaeKwon, still live in San Diego. His family comes first and while growing up, Roderkus got involved with football to emulate his older brother Robert, who was also a talented player and went on to star for San Diego's Mesa Community College. Rod finally made a name for himself during his senior year in high school, when despite being double-teamed most of the season, he recorded an impressive 129 tackles, 75 Tackle-for-Loss (TFLs) and 29 quarterback sacks in ten games.

Now Roderkus is anxious to elevate his game to the next level. Rod's philosophy is to play every down harder than the last and never allow just one man to successfully block him. Oregon returns all of their defensive ends from last year's championship team and Wright understands that cracking the starting lineup will be a major challenge, but great determination is known to be Rod's strongest attribute. Despite his impressive exploits that leaked from last year's practices, Roderkus feels that he didn't perform at his optimum level in 2001 because of a bum knee that has hampered him since high school. The knee was finally repaired with arthroscopy surgery during the off-season and Wright is expected to be ready to roll when Spring practice kicks off on April 2nd. Ponder this, a 100% healthy "Dreke" could be a scary thought.

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