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September 12, 2002

End of the road for Wright

The Slant

Every journey must come to an end. And for the nation's top quarterback - Kyle Wright of Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista - his journey through the recruiting process is culminating today with him making a decision.

That decision between USC, Miami and Tennessee will be announced today at a press conference at his high school at 2:30 p.m. pst. When Wright announces and dons a hat or a jersey of the school he selected, the journey from a heralded junior to watch to the top spot in the recruiting rankings will also be over.

But it was definitely a ride to remember.

Rivals100.com takes a look back at some of the key moments in the recruitment of the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder.

Back on February 25 was the first time that Wright appeared on the Rivals100.com recruiting radar. Even though he was already a household name to college coaches and the people in California it was time for Wright to go national.

"Kyle is advanced beyond his years," Monte Vista coach Craig Bergman told Rick Kimbrel of Pac10Recruiting.com.

"His knowledge of the game is tremendous and he runs the no huddle offense flawlessly."

At that point, Bergman had already reported that Wright had offers from almost all of the nation's top programs but he wasn't in rush to make a decision.

It was then at the USC Nike Training Camp where Wright continued to show his promise and dominance on the national recruiting scene.

The most polished quarterback at the camp was Wright, who showed his excellent technique, a great release and a really powerful arm.

Kimbrel had the line of the year with Wright when he wrote: "Kyle could throw the ball through a car wash and the ball wouldn't get wet."

Wright then showed up later this past spring at the Stanford Nike Training Camp. Oh yeah, he had an off day and still was the best quarterback in attendance - even with blue-chippers like Michigan bound Sam Keller and Oregon pledge Johnny DuRocher tearing it up.

Then by mid June, Wright said he was mulling over at least 25 offers from some of the biggest names in college football. At that point, Wright was the only quarterback that Miami, Florida State and Texas had offered, and he was already starting to fret over how he was going to make a decision.

"It's going to be the hardest decision I'm going to have to make," Wright said. "Even though the decision is going to be tough, I'm in a great situation. I get to choose from the best schools that offer the best combination of football and academics."

But still he had a preliminary top six list of USC, Miami, Texas, Notre Dame and Tennessee.

Then came the road trip - no it was the mother of all road trips - a total of 2,783 miles in a rental car to check out some of the nation's top programs up close and personal.

After the completing the Elite 11 camp, Wright hit Miami, then Florida State, then Tennessee and then Oklahoma and finally Texas before heading home to California.

Before the trip he had a top three formulated in his mind.

"I know Rivals.com has high interest, medium interest and so on for schools in your database," Wright said. "Miami, Texas and USC are my top three colleges at this time. These three schools are my high interest."

What about after the trip?

"I just think everyone's pretty even right now," he told CaneSport.com. "It's pretty open. I'm going to try and make a decision in the next couple of weeks. I really like all the schools. I can't really make a wrong decision."

His father, Ken Wright, agreed.

"It wasn't really overly hectic but it was tiring - we had a good time getting to meet all the coaches and see all the schools," he said. "We were pretty much going every day. We didn't really do any sightseeing, we were committed to seeing what all the schools had to offer, sat in on meetings, watched practices and then would go to the hotel.

"We got a pretty good idea of how they all did stuff. The similarities between all five are pretty close and that's probably why they're all nationally ranked teams. We kind of figured that, it's just splitting hairs. But you never know till you go looking at them."

But then as things moved closer and closer to Wright's early September announcement, a top three of Miami, USC and Tennessee began to take shape.

Wright told USCFootball.com there are positives about each of the three schools he's picking from.

About Miami: "I like the school. I like the area. I like the coaches. I like the offense. And of course being the national champions attracted me to it."

About Tennessee: "It is kind of like the thing that is what a college location should look like. They have big-time fans, the orange and a great program and university. It is located on a river."

UCC: "Well, I know them the best and I'm comfortable with the coaching staff. I feel comfortable there. I was there for the four-day camp. I know them well and I know they are an up and coming program."

Since that interview and the past three days, Wright has been mum on the entire decision. Publicly he's confirmed that he's made a decision and said he has informed the three schools of his choice.

However, privately sources at the three schools are giving out mixed signals. Two schools think it's Miami, and another source at a school indicated they believed it to be USC.

So what will Wright do?

The entire world will find out when he officially completes his journey later today.

And after looking back, it's not been such a bumpy ride after all, but one that was filled with highs and lows and finally excitement for one team that will win the Kyle Wright Sweepstakes.


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