By LARRY VAUGHT
North Hardin coach Brent Thompson describe junior running back La’Vell Wright as a player who “can do it all” on the football field.
He ran for 1,819 yards and 25 scores on 259 carries last season and also caught 34 passes for another 553 yards and three touchdowns as North Hardin went 13-1 with its only loss coming against Trinity in the state semifinals.
On Wednesday Wright, one of the state’s top players, verbally committed to Kentucky just like teammate Octavious Oxendine, a defensive lineman, did before signing with UK in December.
“La’Vell can definitely do it all,” Thompson said. “He was our third or fourth receiver last year and still made some big catches. He’s a terrific running back. We try to feature one back mainly and he’s a guy that wants the ball in his hands.
“We have realized the last three years he played for us that the more touches he gets, the stronger he gets. In big games, he definitely produces.”
However, Thompson said not to think he will not do other things to help a team win.
“He does not mind sticking his nose in there and blocking,” Thompson said. “He is a great quality character young man who is going to add a lot to UK.”
Not only did Wright announce his commitment on Twitter, but he also went on Kentucky Sports Radio to let UK fans know he was becoming a Wildcat. He also had offers already from West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, Duke, Northwestern and Maryland.
“Coach (Mark) Stoops, coach (Vince) Marrow, the way they talked to me over the past weeks, the past months, we built a nice connection. Knowing that I can be right at home, playing for my state has always been a good feeling for me,” Wright said on KSR.
Thompson had talked with Wright about narrowing his choices and reminded him that every position was recruited differently by major programs.
“He has been up to Kentucky three or four times. He’s seen campus, talked to the coaches. He’s also gone to other places,” Thompson said. “He talked to coach Marrow and coach Stoops earlier this week and that just put the icing on the cake for it.”
Not only will former teammate Oxendine be playing for Kentucky, but two of Wright’s other former teammates —defensive lineman Isaiah Beasley and linebacker Darren Green (LB) — will be preferred walk-ons on the 2020 UK team.
“There was definitely a comfort level there,” Thompson said.n”I am not discounting what coach Stoops and coach Marrow did. Coach Marrow watched us played a game last year and they both have interacted a lot with La’Vell. All our guys like where the UK program is going and he just wanted to be part of that.”