Wright On Time

Tennessee's glaring need to add depth to its receiving corps is, at the very least, very well timed because there's never been a deeper crop of wide receivers than there is in the Class of 2008.

Take for instance Jarius Wright, who comes from the same Warren High School in south Arkansas that produced former Vol play maker Brett Smith. Although Wright is ranked No. 48 among the nation's wide receiver prospects he earns a four-star rating from Scout.com. Ditto for Rodriguez Wikes of Smyrna, who is a four-star prospect ranked No. 50 among wide receivers. And there's No. 47 ranked Aaron Boyd from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky, who shares the same distinction.

Tennessee is involved with all three of these well respected pass catchers, who rate a lot better than they rank. That's because there are a total of 51 four-star wideouts in the Class of 2008. Compare that to 2007 when the number was 24. Another way to look at it: there are only 40 five-star prospects in this recruiting class. Having 51 four-star prospects at one position is unusual since it roughly equates to being among the top 200 caliber prospects in the country.

Wright is an excellent example of the uncommon value you can get at wide receiver in ‘08. Listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds he comes with 4.4 speed and outstanding numbers. As a receiver he caught 51 passes for 1,086 yards and 15 touchdowns. That's an average of 21.3 yards per catch. Those stats would have been better if he had played wideout alone

"I play a little at defensive back," he told IT Thursday. "I played mostly at wide receiver and quarterback last year. This year I'll probably play wide receiver. That's my position."

Playing in a program that features one of the top passing attacks in the mid south, he is one in a trio of Division I prospects at Warren. The other two are Greg Childs (6-4, 195, 4.5) and Basmine Jones (6-1, 210, 4.5.) Last year the Lumberjacks lost in Class-AAA title game and figure to be stronger this fall after a summer spent refining timing and skills.

"I've been doing seven-on-seven tournaments mostly," Wright said when asked about any camps or combines he has attended. "We finished second in our bracket (at the Shootout of the South tournament) in Little Rock.

"I think we'll have a real good team this year. We lost the state championship game (to Nashville) last year on a controversial call."

Most of the calls since that December day have been of the recruiting variety as Wright has a long list of high profile Division I suitors.

Among those he's most interested in are Arkansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Tulsa and Tennessee.

Although Wright is more focused on his senior campaign for the Lumberjacks, he is beginning to make plans for visits and indicates Tennessee will be one of his official stops.

"Coach (Steve) Cadwell is recruiting me," he said. "I really don't know too much about them, but what I know I like. I'm going to take an official visit there."

Wright reports a 2.7 GPA and a score of 17 on his ACT. He has a vertical leap in the 32-inch range, but credits his ability as a receiver largely to his speed.

"I can beat people to spots or just outrun them on fly patterns," he said. "My speed is my strength, but I can catch the ball, too."

He has certainly caught the attention of college coaches and scouts.

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