Go to a Clovis West football practice these days, and you’ll see two Rodney Wrights on the field — Rodney Wright III in uniform, and his father, Rodney Wright II, doing some coaching.
Both are about the same size.
Both have terrific speed..
And both have good hands, so no wonder people ask Rodney III about the comparison all the time.
“They ask me if I’m as fast as him,” says the Clovis West senior. “They ask me, am I as tough as him?”
He not as fast as his dad was in his prime, but not many people are, cause back when he was starring at Fresno State, Rodney II was one of the fastest, if not the fastest, guy on the field.
He could run in the 4.3 second range for a 40-yard dash, and that helped him become David Carr’s favorite target on the 2001 Bulldog football team that went 11-3, and was ranked as high as 8th in the country.
Wright still ranks second on Fresno state’s all-time receiving yardage list, and still holds the single game receiving yardage record of 299 yards, set against Michigan State in the 2001 Silicon Valley Classic.
However, dad thinks his son might be better than he was at this point of his high school career.
“I see the best dual – (receiver), running back threat in the state,” says Wright II about his son, although he admits he is a little biased.
The younger Wright, who thinks he could run the 40-yard dash in the 4.5 second range, could be in store for a big year as a running and receiving tailback for the Golden Eagles.
As a junior last year, he touched the ball over 170 times, producing 1,367 total yards and nine touchdowns.
“He (his father) played wide receiver,” says Wright III, who also plays baseball for Clovis West. “I mix it around, playing running back and slot receiver. I can do it all.”
Wright II is in his third year coaching the wide receivers at Clovis West, so he doesn’t directly coach his son much, but that doesn’t mean he’s not paying attention to what he’s doing.
“I’m always watching,” says the older Wright, who also had a couple brief stints on NFL practice squads, and spent nearly a decade playing in the Arena Football League. “I’m always seeing what he’s doing. My thing is, I preach to him play hard.”
That mindset has helped Wright III attract the attention of the Air Force Academy, who is the only school to have offered him a scholarship at this point.
“Always give your effort, your full effort,” the younger Wright said, when asked to give the best piece of advice his father has given him. “Just because I’m small (5’9″), doesn’t mean anything, play like I’m 6’5”.
Father and son are hopeful more scholarship offers will be coming this year, especially now that he’s fully healthy for his senior year, after playing through a sports hernia injury sustained before his junior year even started.
He had surgery for the injury early this summer, which forced him to miss some of the recruiting showcases.
He says he’d love to play at Fresno State if given a scholarship opportunity, but for the time being, is just focused on winning a valley championship in his final year of high school.
“This is the year,” said Wright III.