Draft in-depth: WR Jarius Wright
Jarius Wright
Jarius Wright
NFL Draft Report
Posted Apr 28, 2012


A look at the NFL profile of Arkansas WR Jarius Wright, the Vikings' pick at No. 118.

Jarius Wright
Wide Receiver
University of Arkansas Razorbacks
#4
5:09.5-182
Warren, Arkansas
Warren High School

OVERVIEW

The reason for the Razorbacks offensive success the last four seasons is mainly due to the synchronicity displayed by Arkansas’ trio of senior receivers. Wright and Greg Childs have started alongside each other since their sophomore seasons at Warren High School. Joe Adams was welcomed into that “brotherhood” as the three entered the college football ranks in 2008.

One look at the Arkansas career, season and game records, and you will find one, two or all three listed in each category. Often lined up at the “Z” (flanker) position, Wright, like his fellow Razorbacks, has experience playing in the slot and at split end. He went on to establish new school career-records with 168 receptions for 2,934 yards and finished second in school annals with 24 touchdown grabs.

Wright was a standout receiver with Childs during his playing days at Warren High School. He was ranked the 30th-best player in the nation at his position and the third-best overall prospect in the state of Arkansas by Rivals.com in 2007. He was touted as the state’s third-best overall prospect by Hawgs Illustrated and ranked as the 39th-best receiver in the nation and third overall prospect in the state by Scout.com.

As a junior, Wright totaled 51 catches for 1,086 yards and fifteen touchdowns. He also recorded three kickoff and two punt returns for scores, as he was named to the All-State team in 2006. As a senior, he racked up 58 receptions for 1,350 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also carried the ball 55 times for 382 yards and eight scores while racking up 168 kickoff return yards and a touchdown on four kickoff returns, and 296 punt return yards and two touchdowns on seven punt returns.

That performance earned Wright a spot on the Associated Press Super Team, in addition to receiving 2007 All-State and All-Arkansas honors from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Fellow coaches also named him as the outstanding back of his classification. He was recruited by Minnesota, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas Tech, but decided to join Greg Childs when the pair enrolled at Arkansas for the 2008 campaign.

Like Joe Adams, Wright appeared in twelve games, as the split end started seven contests in 2008. He snatched nineteen tosses for 348 yards (18.32 ypc) and two touchdowns, while also chipping in 15 yards on six punt returns. As a sophomore, he shifted to the “Z” receiver position, starting all but the Florida clash. His 41 receptions ranked second on the team, piling up 681 yards (16.61 ypc) while finding the end zone five times, in addition to making five tackles with the special team coverage units.

In 2010, Wright helped the Razorbacks lead the Southeastern Conference and rank fourth in the nation with an average of 333.69 aerial yards per game. He ranked fourth on the team with 42 receptions for 788 yards (13th on the school season-record list), averaging 18.76 yards while finding the end zone five times. For the special team squad, he made three tackles and returned two punts for 32 yards.

Taking over flanker duties and being named team captain, the All-SEC first-team choice started twelve games in 2011, missing the Troy clash after suffering a knee sprain vs. New Mexico. Despite that one-game absence, he ranked second in the league with an average of 5.5 receptions per game, leading the league with 93.08 aerial yards per game. He went on to establish new school season-records with 66 receptions for 1,117 yards and twelve touchdowns.

The senior’s performance earned Wright an invitation to the 2012 Senior Bowl. Throughout the week’s practices, scouts, coaches and league executives cemented their opinions about the smallish, yet sudden speedster. The Razorback displayed that he is a fast-twitch, flexible athlete with exceptionally quick feet and loose hips to burst out of cuts and create consistent separation.

They also saw a receiver who flashed quick hands to snare throws away from his body, along with excellent leaping ability and fearlessness elevating for the ball in a crowd. His lean frame and short arms could pose problems vs. press coverage cornerbacks, as he is not going to outmuscle defenders, but much like the Eagles’ Sean Jackson, Wright’s feet and explosive burst make it very difficult to contain him once he gets a clean release off the snap.

CAREER NOTES
Wright started 44-of-50 games at Arkansas, going on to establish school career and season records, as he hauled in 168 passes for 2,934 yards (17.46 ypc) and 24 touch-downs, scoring 146 points while gaining 47 yards on eight punt returns (5.88 ypc) and 19 yards on two carries…An aggressive performer for the coverage units, he also recorded eleven tackles (5 solos)…His 168 receptions topped the previous school all-time mark of
153 grabs by Anthony Eubanks (1994-97), as the only active Southeastern Conference player with more catches is Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina (183; 2009-11)…His 66 catches in 2011 surpassed the old UA season-record of 62 receptions by J.J. Meadors in 1995, as that duo joined D.J. Williams (61 in 2008) as the only Razorbacks to catch at least 60 passes in a season…His thirteen catches vs. Texas A&M in 2011 tied James Shibest (vs. Southern Methodist in 1984) and Wear Schoonover (vs. Baylor in 1929) for the UA game-record…Wright ranks fifth in conference history with his school career-record 2,934 receiving yards, topping the old Arkansas mark of 2,879 yards by Anthony Lucas (1995-99)…His 1,117 yards receiving in 2011 broke the previous school season-record of 1,004 yards by Lucas in 1998, as they are the only two Razorbacks to reach the 1,000-yard level in a season…Wright’s 281 yards vs. Texas A&M in 2011 shattered the previous school game-record of 204 yards by Mike Reppond vs. Rice in 1971. The only other Arkansas player to amass 200 receiving yards in a game is Lucas Miller (201 vs. Mississippi State, 2008)…That 281-yard performance also ranks second on the conference game-record chart behind Josh Reed of Louisiana State’s 293-yard output in 2011 vs. Alabama…His 24 touchdown receptions rank behind Marcus Monk (27; 2004-07) on the UA all-time record list, but are also the most for any active player in the SEC…Wright’s twelve scoring grabs in 2011 topped Monk’s old season mark of eleven in 2006. The only other player to have at least ten touchdown receptions in a season is Anthony Lucas (ten in 1998)…Recorded four 100-yard receiving performances in 2011, one short of the school season-record of five, set by Lucas in 1997 and matched by that receiver the next season.

2011 SEASON
Wright was an All-American fourth-team pick by The NFL Draft Report, as the Biletnikoff Award Watch List member (nation’s top receiver) added All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors from the league’s coaches and the Associated Press…Started twelve games at flanker, sitting out the Troy game and the week’s practices leading up to that clash after suffering a knee sprain the previous week vs. New Mexico…Still went on to set the UA season-records with 66 receptions for 1,117 yards (16.92 ypc) and twelve touchdowns…
Was named SEC co-Offensive Player of the Week vs. Texas A&M, as he set the school game-record with 281 yards receiving (second on the SEC game-record chart) and tied another UA record with his thirteen catches vs. the Aggies...Wright recorded consecutive 100-yard receiving games after collecting 135 yards on ten receptions at Vanderbilt and 103 yards on four catches vs. South Carolina, giving him nine 100-yard receiving games in his career, tied for the second-highest total in school history, and four this season, which is second in the SEC and is tied for the third-highest season total in UA annals…Made eight receptions for 96 yards vs. Mississippi State…Caught five passes for 94 yards and one touchdown vs. Tennessee, as he broke Arkansas’ career receptions record (153) with a third quarter reception vs. the Volunteers…Snared five passes for 76 yards and one touchdown vs. Auburn…Pulled in five balls for 63 yards and one touchdown in a 52-3 win
vs. New Mexico…Hauled in six passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns vs. Missouri State…Concluded his career with his twelfth touchdown for the year, gaining 88 yards on three grabs vs. Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl.

2010 SEASON
Wright started all thirteen games at flanker for the Razorbacks, ranking fourth on the team with 42 receptions for 788 yards (18.76 ypc) and five touchdowns…Carried once for a 9-yard gain, returning two punts for 32 yards while posting three tackles…Ranked fifth in the SEC with his 18.76 yards-per-reception average and eighth in the conference with his average of 60.62 receiving yards per game…His 23 receptions of at least 15 yards tied for fifth in the SEC, and his nine receptions of 25-plus yards tied for ninth…Ranked fifth in the NCAA with 542 receiving yards vs. ranked opponents…Busted out for a season-high 131 receiving yards on a career-high-tying six receptions vs. No. 1 Alabama…Also posted another 100-yard receiving game in Arkansas' 38-31 double-overtime victory at Mississippi State, as his 105 yards came on two catches and included an 89-yard touchdown reception that is the longest of his career and second-longest passing touchdown play in school history. The 89-yard reception also ranked as the second-longest passing play in the SEC and seventh-longest passing play in the NCAA in 2010…Recorded three catches for 72 yards in a 31-7 win vs. Louisiana-Monroe…Made four grabs for 88 yards in the 41-20 win at South Carolina...Tied his season-high with six catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns, the first two-touchdown game of his career, while also returning one punt for eight yards in UA's 49-14 win vs. Vanderbilt…Added three catches for 32 yards and one touchdown in Arkansas' 58-21 win vs. Texas-El Paso….Produced four receptions for 68 yards in the Razorbacks' 31-23 victory vs. Louisiana State…In the Sugar Bowl vs. Ohio State, Wright pulled in four passes for 70 yards and one touchdown to become just the second Razor-back in school history with a touchdown reception in consecutive bowl games.

2009 SEASON
Wright took over flanker duties full-time as a sophomore, as the only game he did not start during Arkansas’ thirteen-game schedule was vs. Florida…Finished second on the team with 41 receptions for 681 yards (16.61 ypc) and five touchdowns, as he also recorded five tackles (2 solos) for the special team coverage units…Ranked 12th in the SEC in receiving yards per game and 16th in receptions (3.15), while his touchdowns tied for tenth…Was 11th in the league with 16 receptions of 15 yards or more and seventh with eight for 25 yards or more…Earned first downs on 30 of 41 receptions, which tied for ninth in the SEC…Was named Arkansas' Outstanding Offensive Player in the Liberty Bowl win over East Carolina with four catches for 90 yards and a touchdown…Had six catches for 139 yards in the opener vs. Missouri State, adding four snatches for 108 yards with a touch-down vs. Georgia…Also had scoring receptions vs. Texas A&M, Troy and Mississippi State, delivering three catches for 51 yards vs. Ole Miss, five for 67 vs. Troy, three for 34 vs. Mississippi State and four for 40 at Louisiana State.

2008 SEASON
Wright appeared in all twelve games and started vs. Western Illinois, Texas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Tulsa, Mississippi State and Louisiana State at the “Z” receiver position…Made 19 catches for 348 yards (18.32 ypc) and two touchdowns…His highs came in the win over Tulsa, when he had five catches for 124 yards…His first touchdown of the year came at South Carolina on a then career-long 70-yard reception in the second quarter…Also added a 46-yard touchdown reception in the final game of the season vs. Louisiana State, as he finished that day with three catches for 63 yards…For the season, Wright returned six punts for 15 yards and had three tackles.

INJURY REPORT
2011 Season…Wright sat out the week’s practices leading up to the Troy game and sat out that contest with a mild knee sprain (precautionary measure by the coaching staff).

AGILITY TESTS
4.27 in the 40-yard dash…1.47 10-yard dash…2.48 20-yard dash…4.08 20-yard shuttle…
6.94 three-cone drill…38-inch vertical jump…10’0” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 11 times…31-inch arm length…8 3/8-inch hands…74 7/8-inch wingspan.

HIGH SCHOOL
Wright was a standout receiver for head coach Bo Hembree at Warren (Ar.) High School, where he started in the receiving unit and was a teammate of Arkansas receiver Greg Childs…Ranked the 30th-best player in the nation at his position and the third-best overall prospect in the state of Arkansas by Rivals.com in 2007…Touted as the state’s third-best overall prospect by Hawgs Illustrated and ranked as the 39th-best receiver in the nation and third overall prospect in the state by Scout.com…As a junior, Wright totaled 51 catches for 1,086 yards and fifteen touchdowns…Also recorded three kickoff and two punt returns for scores, as he was named to the All-State team in 2006…As a senior, he racked up 58 receptions for 1,350 yards and 15 touchdowns…Also carried the ball 55 times for 382 yards and eight scores while racking up 168 kickoff return yards and a touchdown on four kickoff returns, and 296 punt return yards and two touchdowns on seven punt returns…That performance earned Wright a spot on the Associated Press Super Team, in addition to receiving 2007 All-State and All-Arkansas honors from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette…Fellow coaches also named him as the outstanding back of his classification.

PERSONAL
Sociology major…Son of Jeanette Hooper and Joe Wright…Born 11/25/89 in Warren, Arkansas.



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