From the paint to the pay-dirt, Cole Wright has done a 180 on the direction he plans to take his athletic career.
Wright is a 6'6â 220-lb Jr. (Class of 2012) who has spent this past week training at the IMG Academy football program. Prior to his last season, Wright made the tough decision to give up playing basketball in order to focus on football, a sport in which he had previously never played.
âI made the switch because I felt that football was going to be my best opportunity to get to the next level. Due to the fact I was not getting the stats that I wanted for basketball, I was willing to do just about anything to play at the college level. When I started playing football, I continued getting better at it every day and fell in love with the sport, making the decision that I wanted to focus on football, easyâ
During Wright's junior, and inaugural, season for Evangelical Christian High School, he averaged just over a sack per game, and had 2.5 sacks on three separate occasions during the year. He came to IMG in order to work with the renowned coaching staff the Academy offers with desires of continuing his improvement heading into his senior season.
While at IMG, Wright has split his time training as a defensive end and tight end. Cole typically works with IMG Academy football program DL Coach Tom Pratt in the morning, and spends afternoons as a running routes and catching passes with Coach Chris Weinke, Director of the Football Academy. Wright says that he has learned plenty this week under the tutelage of the former Heisman winner, Weinke, and former NFL Defensive Line coach, Pratt.
Coach Weinke has been impressed with what he seen this past week working with Cole and thinks the young man has a bright future ahead of him.
"Cole is raw, as he has only played one year of football,â Coach Weinke contests. âHe has a big frame that will allow him to add 20-30 pounds and still compete with great quickness. He also has long arms and great balance for a big kid. I believe he will have the opportunity to play on both sides of the ball at defensive line and TE. He prepares at a high intensity level and continues to improve on his skills. Cole has an opportunity to be an impact player his senior year, and will be presented with numerous options at the collegiate level."
Having only one year of football under his belt, Cole understands that there is quite a bit of room for improvement, but with room for improvement comes upside, something you can't coach.
Cole continues to train at DE/TE, and remains indifferent about which side of the ball he favors, rather choosing to focus on working hard and doing âwhatever it takes to get better.â Colleges have already taken notice and have been showing interest in Cole, with one extending an invitation for an official visit, undoubtedly with more to follow.
Cole will return to IMG Academy in order to participate in the IMG All-Madden Camp, presented by Under Armour, July 29th-31st.