The Wright Stuff

After receiving extensive playing time in his team's 31-17 defeat of Maryland last Saturday, WVU defensive lineman Jorge Wright said if his number is called again this weekend at LSU, he will go in more confident than ever before.

Wright, a redshirt sophomore, had been receiving a bit of additional playing time already this season as the Mountaineer coaching staff has tried to give senior Scooter Berry a bit more rest to keep him fresh as the season goes on.

But he was on the field for much of West Virginia's win over the Terrapins after starter Julian Miller went down with an injury.

The experience of being in games has helped speed the Miami, Fla., native's development along. Wright's confidence has also grown as he has seen himself play well.

"It's very satisfying," he said. "Everybody wants to play good, and it made me feel good.

"You know, I'm used to just going in sometimes for a couple plays. It was a lot more experience, [and I'm] getting better as a football player."

Just how many snaps Wright will see this weekend is to be determined, as he said he is "not sure on any ... information" about Miller's status as WVU prepares to take on No. 15 LSU on Saturday night.

But even if Miller is unable to play, Wright said he feels comfortable stepping into the line-up in big moments.

He showed that by forcing a crucial fumble in the fourth quarter of his team's game at Marshall two weeks ago. At the time, the Mountaineers trailed 21-6 and the Herd was driving inside West Virginia's 10-yard line with a chance to secure the victory.

Wright's forced fumble was recovered by safety Sidney Glover. Two length-of-the-field drives by the WVU offense, an all-or-nothing 2-point conversion play to tie it, and one possession for each team in overtime later, and the Mountaineers were 24-21 winners.

While much of the attention was rightfully given to quarterback Geno Smith and the offense for coming through with back-to-back drives of more than 90 yards to force overtime, the improbable comeback would not have been possible without Wright's play to force Marshall running back Tron Martinez to fumble.

"That moment was huge," said Wright. "As a matter of fact, I'd never felt like that before in my life, so that gave me a lot of confidence. I learned a lot from it."

Even though things have gone well on the field for Wright thus far this season, they haven't been perfect.

That's something defensive linemen have little doubt about when they play for veteran position coach Bill Kirelawich -- a man who is known to be rather vocal with his players about his displeasure when certain aspects of play aren't quite up to par.

But Kirelawich's gruff nature goes along with his attention to the finest details of play as a defensive lineman.

"What it looks like to everybody else isn't what it looks like to him," said Wright. "He still thinks I need to get my hands lower, be more physical, run to the ball and everything like that. He's given me positive feedback and told me I need to get better at a lot of little things to become a better player."

While Kirelawich's verbal jousting can be tough for players to take at first, Wright said that once he had the opportunity to get the feel for playing in an actual game and then review film of his own play with Kirelawich, it aided his performance dramatically.

That's just one reason Wright said he is more confident in his ability now than he has ever been before.

"It's helped me a lot, because a lot of coaches overlook little things and just let it go by," said Wright, who is majoring in criminology and investigations. "Then you won't be as good of a player as you could be. He doesn't overlook anything. I think it's made me a better player in the long run.

"I see exactly the things he's talking about, because he points them out [on film] and everything like that. They get better and better every game. I've just got to keep working on it."

BlueGoldNews Top Stories