At Saturday’s scrimmage, the starting lineup changed: Marcus Wright started at A-back instead of Lucas Cox. (Cox played mainly at backup B-back and ran hard up the gut, breaking tackles).
It’s too early to project Wright will actually keep that spot opposite Roddy Jones. But Wright is making a strong case.
Coaches have praised the 5-8, 175-pounder out of San Antonio for his blocking. He’s one of the fastest players on the team. And he showed great burst during the scrimmage. Wright took one toss for 20 yards, keeping his balance despite taking a clean shot.
I was more impressed with another play, one he messed up. Wright fumbled a pitch from Josh Nesbitt and it looked like DE Derrick Morgan was going to fall on it first. Wright came up with it despite being crushed by Morgan and someone else.
“Marcus has had a good spring,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I tell you, he’s a physical guy. I think he’s made a lot of improvement. I’m excited about Marcus, I think he can help us.”
Tech took the redshirt off Wright in the sixth game last season. In spot duty he had a 29-yard run against Florida State and a 47-yard catch against LSU. He returned nine kickoffs for a 22.2-yard average.
Remember, this is the same guy who scored 45 TDs as a high school senior while rushing for 3,374 yards. That’s one season. I think this is the most incredible stat: in eight straight games, he had one carry that went at least 70 yards.
Now, it seems, he’s grasped the offense enough to put that speed to use.
“I think he’s getting a better feel for where he’s going and what he’s doing and now he can play fast,” CPJ said. “He didn’t play fast last year. He’s got good speed and I think now he’s playing a little faster.”
Other scrimmage notes that didn’t make it in Sunday’s report:
Backup defensive tackle T.J. Barnes played more reps than most. With mixed results.
“He was just rolling with the ‘2’s, and at some positions there aren’t a lot of guys,” CPJ said. Then he added: “We need to get him a lot of reps so he can drop his weight. He needs to play harder.”
Lucas Cox ran well at B-back, so did Embry Peeples at A-back. Backup guard Omoregie Uzzi got some props from CPJ.
“Uzzi caught my eye a couple times coming off the ball, so that’s good,” the coach said. “We need him to be a player for us.”