Horns land big man for the defensive middle

With <B>Rodrique Wright</B>, the UT coaches need not have worried. Those other schools -- Oklahoma, Colorado, A&amp;M, etc. -- never really had a chance with the 6-4, 327-pound defensive tackle, one of the top overall players in Texas and one of its elite DLs in a great year for DL talent in the state.

"From the beginning I said I wanted to go somewhere that was close to home, where I could get a good degree and where I would have a chance to play for the national title and Texas has all three," Wright told IT Monday afternoon after committing to UT, his No. 1 choice since the early days of his recruitment.

Wright said he bonded with both the current Texas players and several of the other recruits in Austin for the Football Banquet.

Kalen Thornton hosted Wright, but the Alief Hastings DT said several other current Longhorns, particularly Cory Redding, played a big part in making his visit a success. "I thought it would be different but they were nice and welcoming," Wright said. "Cory Redding is a big-time star and I expected him not to talk to me as much as he did. I knew they'd be welcoming, but I didn't expect them to be that welcoming." Wright said he hung out and played PlayStation in the dorms with Thornton, Redding and Roy Williams, and all three expressed their desire to see him play in the Orange and White.

Wright said he also hit it off with already committed prospects Aaron Harris and Bret Valdez plus still-looking prospects Albert Hardy (who has since committed to play for the Horns), Larry Dibbles, Justin Blalock and Travis Leitko. "I talked to everyone," he said, "but those are the main ones."

(Subscribers: Click here for more of Wright's comments about the other recruits in Austin this weekend.)

Tim Brewster recruited Wright for the Horns ("I always like him," Wright said) and DT coach Mike Tolleson, who will tutor the Hastings star once he's on the Forty Acres, already made an impact on Wright on his official visit. "(Tolle) is real energetic," the Horns' 19th verbal commitment said. "He also explained to me the people they're still looking at (in recruiting), who's already committed, and who's playing. He didn't guarantee me that I would start, but he explained that if I handle my business, I'll get playing time."

"Whoever is there, we'll compete and I know the coaches will get the best person in there to try to win the games," Wright added. "I'm gonna try my best to get into the rotation."

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