Thursday, November 28 2013 10:01 AM EST2013-11-28 15:01:50 GMT
LSU head coach Les Miles met with the media for the final time Wednesday night, before his team celebrates Thanksgiving on Thursday and plays football on Friday. The Tigers face Arkansas (3-8, 0-7 SEC)More >>
LSU faces an Arkansas team in the midst of a school record eight-game losing skid. Head coach Les Miles is focusing on stopping the Razorback running game.More >>
Every one of the 15 LSU seniors that will say farewell to Tiger Stadium Friday afternoon has contributed in his own way, but one guy who stands out to the team is wide receiver and special teams player James Wright.
"It's remarkable; a lot of amazing memories, friends and bonds that you have for a lifetime," said Wright. "It's hard to describe."
Senior James Wright (No. 82) chose LSU with hopes of becoming the Tigers' next star wide receiver. During his junior season in 2012, there were signs Wright was getting closer. He had five catches for 75 yards in a rout over Washington and a beautiful diving grab for 48 yards in a win over Ole Miss. However, as this season began, it was clear Wright wouldn't be catching many footballs. As a matter of fact, he hasn't made one reception all year.
"With this game of college football, sometimes things don't always work out the way you want them to work out," said junior wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
But what Wright has excelled at is his new role as a special teams demon.
"It just says a lot about his character," said junior wide receiver Jarvis Landry. "Guys that have the spirit and the want," added head coach Les Miles.
"Everybody cares about their self and their own future, but they put that aside for the team and really for the man next to you in the locker room," Wright explained.
In LSU's season opener against TCU, Wright immediately harnessed his inner Honey Badger, stripping the football from the Horned Frogs on a kickoff and making the recovery himself.
"I know what times he's had. It's incredible to just know the amount of athleticism he has," Beckham added.
To this point, Wright leads LSU in special teams tackles and is always hustling down the field to make a play.
"Certain guys practice to a very high level and certain guys are moderate in their approach. He's a guy who flies around, who's working his technique so that when he gets to the game that he can play and play extremely well," Miles said.
"When we sit down and watch film, every day coach points out and says, ‘Look at James's effort,'" said junior running back Terrence Magee. "Everything he does, he does it 110 percent."
Wright probably dreamed of being a 1,000-yard receiver like Odell Beckham Jr. or Jarvis Landry.
"Every receiver wants to play receiver. I came here to play receiver," Wright said. "If he was anywhere else in the nation, he could be a 1,000-yard guy easily," Beckham explained.
However, he doesn't need to worry about being a disappointment because his teammates couldn't admire him more.
"James Wright has really been an inspiration to everybody on the team," Magee said. "James Wright is the most selfless guy on this team," Landry added.
"Someone like James Wright is why you play the game," said junior fullback Connor Neighbors. "He's a team player. He's very passionate."
"He's an amazing guy," Beckham commented. "He's a guy I have a tremendous amount of respect for," senior linebacker Lamin Barrow added. "He's good and we enjoy him," Miles said.
So, keep your eye on James Wright in Tiger Stadium on Friday. Perhaps he won't get his hands on the football, but he'll probably drill somebody who does.
Kickoff for LSU and Arkansas from Tiger Stadium is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The game can be seen on WAFB.