Impact Report: 2021 RB Jaylen Wright

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    (Photo via @jayyw5 on Twitter)

    Every time Tennessee gets a commitment in either football or men’s basketball, we will write up an impact report looking at what that recruit does well, what we feel can be improved, and what his projected impact with the Vols could be over the next few years.

    Latest Commit: Jaylen Wright, RB
    Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 185 pounds
    School: Southern (North Carolina)
    Home Town: Durham, NC

    Rankings
    247Sports Composite: 
    No. 609 overall, No. 46 RB
    247Sports: No. 88 RB
    Rivals: 5.7 rating

    Notable Offers: Miami, Arizona State, Syracuse

    What we like:

    Speed, speed, speed. Jaylen Wright is blazing fast, and that’s not just on the football field. He’s been timed running a 6.25-second 55-meter and owns the fastest 60-meter time in North Carolina for the 2020 indoor track season at 6.72 seconds. At one point, his 55-meter dash was the fastest time in the United States. But Wright is more than just a speed demon; he’s a capable play-maker in other ways, too.

    Wright has some good wiggle and cut ability, and he’s much harder to bring down than you might imagine. Yes, he’s fast, but he’s also slippery and pretty strong for his size. He bounces off defenders regularly and slips out of tackles multiple times. Not only that, but he’s a good pass catcher, though he hasn’t been utilized as a receiving threat as much in high school so far. Simply put, if you get the ball in his hands, Wright has the potential to make you pay.

    Places to improve: 

    How does Wright hold up in the SEC? I don’t foresee him being an every down type of back, but he has a lot of great skills to be a change-of-pace runner. With that being said, can he pass block? How physical can Wright be against SEC linebackers and defensive linemen? I’ll be very interested to see how Wright progresses in his senior season, because there’s a lot to like about him from his film, but I want to see him utilized more and in a variety of ways.

    Analysis:

    Wright’s speed will make it hard to keep him off the field as a freshman, but I feel like his biggest impact won’t be felt till his second season. Even still, I really, really like Wright’s ceiling and think he’ll be rated a lot higher once this recruiting cycle ends. He’s a dangerous play-maker who has the ability to come out of the backfield or line up as a receiver. He can hurt a defense in a multitude of ways, and he’s the kind of weapon that opens up an offense.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.