Speedy Running Back Commits to Vols

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    (Photo via @jayyw5 on Twitter)

    When Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt hired Jay Graham as the Vols’ running backs coach, he did so not only because of Graham’s ability as an on-field coach, but also because of Graham’s ability to recruit and his ties to North Carolina. On Monday, those relationships paid off for the Vols.

    Running back and track athlete Jaylen Wright took to Twitter on Monday to announce that he has committed to Tennessee in the 2021 class. The Durham, North Carolina native picked up an offer from UT back on February 4th and attended a Junior Day event on March 7th.

    The 5-foot-11, 185-pound back received a preliminary ranking by 247Sports of an 84, making him a three-star and the No. 88 running back in the 2021 cycle. He’s not rated by the composite rankings at this time.

    Aside from Tennessee, Wright holds offers from Miami, Arizona State, Syracuse, Rutgers, and others. He’s also gotten interest from Florida State and North Carolina State among other programs.

    Wright isn’t just a dynamic running back for Southern High School, though; he’s also a standout on the track team. According to MileSplit.com, Wright ran the 55-meter in 6.25 seconds and has a 200-meter time of 21.98 seconds from the 2020 indoor season. His time of 6.72 seconds in the 60-meter is tops in the entire state of North Carolina for the 2020 indoor season.

    As you would expect from his track numbers, Wright can flat out fly. If he gets in the open field, good luck catching him. He’s not just a straight line speed back, though; Wright has some good wiggle to him and has some shifty moves to get past defenders. He’s also a lot tougher to bring down than you’d expect, bouncing off tacklers and fighting for extra yardage on multiple occasions in his highlight film.

    As a junior this past season, Wright carried the ball 89 times for 901 yards and five touchdowns, giving him a 10.1 yard per carry average according to MaxPreps. He also caught six passes for 62 yards. On 140 total carries so far in high school, Wright is averaging 7.8 yards an attempt and has eight touchdowns.

    Wright’s commitment gives the Vols eight commits in their 2021 class, and Wright is the second prospect who could play running back for the Vols. In-state three-star back Elijah Howard is also committed to Tennessee.



    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.