Ten days ago North Pole (AK) wide receiver Lance Wright made the 4,000 mile journey to Houston, Texas to attend one of Rice's summer football camps and performed well enough to leave camp with a scholarship offer worth about $300,000 from one of the premier academic institutions in the United States.
Ten days later with plenty of thought, Wright has decided where he wants to play his college football as the Alaskan standout has committed to the Rice Owls.
"I've been talking to a lot of family and people that are important to me," the 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver said. "I've just been getting their opinions on what they think about the school and the coaching staff. I've been weighing the pros and cons and I couldn't find anything that I didn't like about Rice or the coaching staff. I feel it's the right place to be and that's why I chose Rice."
Wright knew in his heart for a few days now that he was going to commit and decided to go ahead and pull the trigger after receiving the blessings of those close to him.
"I really made up my mind a few days ago and felt like I was pretty positive that's where I wanted to be," he said. "I sat and talked to my brother last night and his opinion is very important to me. He said he would support that decision and my dad said he would support the decision. So I was actually out fishing today and decided to call coach Edmondson today while I was on the boat and told him I wanted to commit to Rice."
Now that he is committed Wright is glad to put an end to the recruiting process.
"I'm happy to put it all behind me," the talented receiver said. "I'm from a small town and while some people like all the attention of recruiting and going to camps and all that, I don't really like that. I'd rather be alone with people I'm comfortable with. I'm glad that I don't have to travel anymore and look at other places. But mostly I'm happy that I committed somewhere that I feel comfortable."
With his decision behind him, Wright can now focus on improving as a player and getting ready for his senior season, but is more anxious to get on campus when he feels he'll really be able to focus on improving.
"There is plenty that I need to work on to get ready for the next level," the speedy receiver said. "Of course I need to get bigger, faster and stronger but I also need to work on my technique. In Alaska I only get to do football stuff a few months out of the year because of the snow. I'm excited that in college I can focus on football a lot more and work on my game year round. I think I will improve a lot in every aspect of my game. There are a lot of great coaches at Rice so I'm sure they will help me out with everything and I'll get a lot better all around."
Now that he can turn his attention toward his senior season, Wright has high expectations for his team going into his final high school year.
"Our motto as a team is it's a we thing, so all of my personal goals line up with our team goals," he said. "Obviously like everyone else we want to win state. We're moving down to 3A from 4A because our school is a lot smaller than all of the 4A schools, we didn't have the numbers to compete and stay safe against the big schools. So hopefully with moving down and the group that we have coming back I'm hopeful that we can go far in the playoffs and hopefully win state."
Wright is originally from Texas but has spent the last eleven years of his life in Alaska and is by all means Alaskan to the core, so there will be quite a few adjustments in moving back home to Texas for his college years.
"I think obviously the biggest thing that jumps out to me is the numbers," the talented pass catcher said. "Houston is one of the biggest cities in the country and coming from the North Pole you could be alone all the time if that's what you wanted. Here you have your own space and you can do what you want to do and be who you want to be, so it's going to be a big adjustment just being around such a big city. But luckily when I visited the campus it's kind of small so I think I'll still have my own space. Getting adjusted to the college life and college academics is going to be challenging. Being able to focus on football 24-7 will be a bit of an adjustment as well but I'm excited about that part."
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