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Could this be the breakout year for linebacker Jordan Wright?

Mark Stoops thinks Jordan Wright (15) could have a big impact for UK this year. (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Jordan Wright was a highly-touted player in Kentucky’s 2017 recruiting class and one I thought might have made a bigger mark at UK than he has so far.

However, the 6-5, 240-pound linebacker is still just a redshirt sophomore and he enters the season No. 2 on the depth chart at outside lineabacker and figures to play a lot this year after making four tackles in the nine games he played in 2018 after being redshirted in 2017.

“I think he’s definitely a guy that’s earning more and more of our trust. He had a really good camp. He’s a guy all along that we felt like had an awful lot of ability,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Monday.

Wright was also a standout basketball player who led his team to a Class 6-A state title as a junior and UK basketball coach John Calipari even told him he could have a chance to play basketball for the Cats when coach Mark Stoops was recruiting him. That never happened but it sill shows just how good Wright was.

Former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard called Wright a “freak athlete with superb instincts” when he signed with Kentucky. That was when Maggard was still a writer for Kentucky Sports Radio and before he joined the UK football staff for a year.

“He is extremely raw but has so much natural ability. He’s very aggressive for a dual sport guy. He’s not passive at all,” Maggard said after the 2017 signing day. “He will develop and I really like his nastiness.

“He’s still growing, too. He led his team to a state basketball championship. He actually has one of the higher ceilings of the prospects I have evaluated at Kentucky in the last five years.”

Wright has gained weight and now he’ll get his chance to show what he’s learned.

“Obviously he’s played before. But to have him in there in a significant role early in the game, game one, will be different for him,” Stoops said. “But I’m excited to watch him play, as well.”

Me, too.

 

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