The Wright Situation?

Kyle Wright, a high-profile quarterback coming out of high school, is ready for a fresh start with the Vikings after a highly scrutinized career at the University of Miami. See what Wright and head coach Brad Childress had to say about his situation, and see the irony of Wright and John David Booty being on the same pro roster.

Kyle Wright was not a top-10 NFL draft prospect. In fact, Wright was not even ranked among the top 10 quarterbacks in this year's draft, according to most rankings.

That second statement is a far departure from where Wright was five years ago. Back then, he was a highly recruited quarterback out of Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif.

How highly recruited was Wright? had him ranked as the No. 2 quarterback in the nation … behind top-ranked John David Booty, the Vikings' fifth-round draft choice. Wright signed as an undrafted free agent.

"I was expecting (to be drafted). I was getting calls in the sixth and seventh round," Wright said. "When I saw those guys, like John David, not going where everybody else expected it, I knew that was going to drop me a little (from) where I was expected to go. Things didn't work out, but I'm just thankful for the opportunity I have here in Minnesota."

Wright and Booty both began their professional careers with the Vikings at their rookie minicamp over the weekend. Head coach Brad Childress said he got a chance to talk to Wright one-on-one when he was at the NFL Scouting Combine as a "throwing quarterback."

"The added benefit was that he was one of the designated guys at the Combine who threw all the routes, so he threw to every group. You got to see him over and over and over and over and over, throwing to backs, throwing to tight ends, throwing to wide receivers, beside what you put on tape," Childress said. "I just liked the way he picked up the ball and threw it, if you were watching him back in the infancy of his career. As a young quarterback there, he's tall in stature, he's got a nice throwing motion. There's not a lot of flaws in that."

Booty said he received calls from the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, but not getting drafted had at least one advantage.

"It's better to go where you're wanted … and I think this was definitely an example of that kind of situation," he said.

The Vikings had a few connections to Wright. Quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers was a candidate to become offensive coordinator for the University of Miami after Randy Shannon was hired, and Rich Olson, a former Vikings assistant, was a coordinator there in 2006 during Wright's tenure as a Hurricane.

Rogers was also at Virginia Tech when Wright was at Miami early in his career, so the two had plenty of rivalry stories to share, and Wright said they kept in contact after the Combine "quite a bit, so that was definitely a factor."

"The Viking ties are deeper than a lot of people may think," Wright said of all the connections.

Of course, with four offensive coordinators during his four seasons as a Hurricane, Wright probably has numerous connections around the NFL. The turnover in coordinators and schemes could be one reason why Wright's college career didn't receive quite the high praise that his high school performances did.

"There were a lot of variables at Miami. I think that's kind of the million-dollar question. We had four different offensive coordinators in four years and two head coaches, which is never easy for a team to really never have anything to build off of going from season to season. There were a lot of variables, so that made it hard. I'm glad to have that in the rear-view mirror," he said.

After redshirting his freshman year, Wright played sparingly in his next season, but his sophomore season was his most productive. He completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 2,403 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. However, that would prove to be his most extensive action and his best touchdown-to-interceptions ratio. Last year, he threw 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Still, Wright managed to put a positive spin on a difficult situation, saying all the coordinator and coaching turnover might help him adapt more quickly to the NFL game.

"I think that's an advantage that I have. It seems like every offseason I was learning something new, so this offseason is no different," he said. "I'm just excited to come to a new place and get a fresh start – just have fun with the opportunity."

Despite his high-profile status as a high school senior, Wright doesn't come across as brash. In fact, he doesn't come to the Vikings with goals much different than most rookies, especially those of the undrafted variety.

His expectations here?

"Just to come in and make the team in some form or fashion, either being on the practice squad – they've approached me and asked me if I could hold. I said, ‘I've never done it, but I'd be willing to learn.' So really, just being a part of this organization in any way possible," he said.

Wright learned to deal with the pressure and scrutiny of the media at a high-profile college football program like Miami, calling it a pro sports town where you have to act like a pro despite being in college.

But he also takes solace that an undrafted rookie can go on to have a productive – even Pro Bowl – career in the NFL. He cites the growth of Tony Romo's career with the Dallas Cowboys.

"If you look across the depth chart of the NFL teams, not only the starters but the backup guys are all guys that were taken late or as free agents," he said. "There are not too many starters that were first-round, big-time guys. That's definitely encouraging."

And he knows he's going to a team that really wanted him. The Vikings called after their last pick in the sixth round and told him, "If things don't work out, we want you bad," Wright said.

With Tarvaris Jackson as the incumbent starter, Gus Frerotte signing on as the veteran mentor and backup, and Booty and Brooks Bollinger battling for another spot on the team, Childress wasn't ready to predict what kind of role Wright might have with the Vikings.

"His role will define itself. Can he play big-time football? He's already been in some of those arenas. He's got a nice throwing motion and we'll see if he can get some snaps in the preseason," Childress said. "I like to believe all of them that we bring in here are wiped clean. I told them all (in the initial meeting), ‘I don't know what you did in college. I don't care what you did in college. Wipe the slate clean. I don't care how you stepped or threw, this is a whole new (stage).'"

In Kyle Wright's case, that might be the best thing for him.

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