Player Profile: Darrian Wright

Omar profiles SMU's starting nose tackle Darrian Wright, who is one of the three returning starters along the defensive line.

Darrian Wright

Position: Nose Tackle

Size: 6-2, 280

Year: Senior

High School: Dayton

Hometown: Dayton, TX

Recruitment: Coming out of high school, Wright was ranked as a three-star recruit and one of the best defensive players in Texas. He was named first team All-State as a senior and voted the District Player of the Year. He recorded 123 tackles, including 15 tacklers for loss, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and 21 quarterback hurries as a senior in 2010. He chose SMU over offers from Colorado State, Kentucky, Tulane, Northwestern, and more.

2013 Review: SMU’s defense struggled last season, especially early in the year, but Wright did a solid job at nose tackle. He didn’t make a huge impact, but was counted on to take nearly every snap inside and had the best season of his career. Nose tackle was one of the weakest positions on the roster, so he had the responsibility of dominating the trenches in every game.

Wright was twelfth on the team in tackles with 26, including 14 solo tackles. He also recorded three tackles for loss, including two sacks. He got his first career sack against Montana State and posted a career-high in tackles with five against Rutgers and at Cincinnati. Nose tackles don’t really put up big numbers in SMU’s 3-4 defense, but Wright’s impact was key for the Mustangs.

Grade: B

Outlook in 2014: Wright’s looking to put the finishing touches on a very nice four-year career at SMU. Nose tackle will once again be a shallow position on the roster, but the Mustangs return basically every single defensive lineman from last year. The Mustangs front seven was young and inexperienced then, but should be much improved in 2014.

Wright will use his size and athleticism to cause disruption in opposing backfields. He had a pick six his sophomore year and has shown great versatility throughout his career. In the Mustang's 3-4 defense, the interior lineman have the responsibility of plugging up holes to stop ball carriers and create space for linebackers to come up and make tackles. It requires heavy penetration and the ability to fight off multiple blocks.

Again, Wright probably won’t put up huge stats, but his impact and role will be a key for Tom Mason. Sophomore Nick Reed will spell Wright at times, but the senior will be counted on to be a leader of the defense and control the trenches in every game. I expect Wright to be a very productive player in his last year on the Hilltop and wrap a solid career at SMU.

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