Newcomer Profile - Andrae Wright

An Alabama defensive lineman who originally signed with the Class of 2002 wraps up our newcomer profiles.


DL, 6-5, 260 lbs., 4.8

John Shaw High School – Mobile, Ala.

Signed with the Mountaineers as a part of the Class of 2002 but sat out this past year to improve his academic standing ... an allstate defender for head coach Mardye McDole in 2001 … recorded 74 tackles, eight sacks, six tackles for loss and seven fumble recoveries as a senior in a pressure four-man front.

"We tried to control the gaps and make sacks," McDole said. "Andrae brought pressure from the end, doing a lot of rushing and playing the pass well. He is quick for his size, and he will get better. He has speed, and his lower body is very strong. He has not reached his potential."

Has worked to improve his upper body strength in the season he's had off … Mobile Register allregional … attended the Nike Camp in 2001 …

"He got away from home and was overwhelmed with what he saw," said McDole of Wright's visit to West Virginia. "A few others recruited him because of his size, but WVU made the best effort."

Wright will be the first player from John Shaw High to play at West Virginia … Shaw High had four other players sign football scholarships in the class of 2002, though at lower levels, as they went to West Alabama, Alabama A&M and Albany State as well as West Virginia … Wright also got recruiting interest from Duke, LSU, Mississippi State and Tulane the first time around, but he never wavered from his decision to attend WVU despite the year off.

"It feels kind of good for me, going to a new environment, meeting new people and seeing new things," said Wright of going so far from home. "I think it'll be good. I think I can become better as a person and a player."

Wright won't be completely alone, as WVU has five other players from the Mobile area on the roster – Miquelle Henderson, Dee Alston, Warren Young, Joe Hunter and Ben Clemmons … seven players from southwest Alabama signed Division I-A scholarships in the class of 2002, and four of them signed with WVU

The Mountaineers, behind the recruiting of assistant coach Rick Trickett, who graduated high school in Mobile, have spent the first couple years of the Rodriguez era recruiting in Alabama and Mississippi … Wright also was a basketball and track letterman … threw shot put and tried baseball as well … will major in business … son of Pattie Landelson and Alarick Wright.

What Rich Rodriguez says: "Andrae is a player who we actually signed last year. He's gained some weight in that time. When we signed him last year, he was about 240. Now he's 255 or 260. He was initially a partial qualifier, but he's now fully qualified. Because he's a year older, he has a chance to help us right away."

What Herb Hand says: "Andrae sat out the year to increase his test score. He's worked hard to get to the point where he's eligible to come in August. He's bigger now. He's also like a David Upchurch or Antwan Lake. He's taller at 6-4 or 6-5. He's 260 right now and potentially could be 290 in a year or two. And he'll still have the athletic ability and speed we're looking for."

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