DT Wright could be in the right place for Vols

Gabe Wright had a streak on the line.

That's why he changed his mind at the last minute this past weekend, opting to head to Columbia, S.C., to watch the Gamecocks' upset of No. 1 Alabama instead of making the shorter drive north from his home in Columbus, Ga., to see Tennessee take on Georgia.

Wright, a 6-foot-3, 273-pound four-star defensive tackle, has yet to see the home team lose on his unofficial or official visits throughout his recruitment. Obviously, he didn't see the Bulldogs' 41-14 rout of the undermanned Vols coming.

"I thought Tennessee was going to handle business," said Wright, never short on an opinion or two. "I didn't want to spoil my luck."

Wright, who plays for Dell McGee at Georgia powerhouse Carver High School, made an unofficial visit for the Sept. 25 game against UAB, where the Vols needed two overtimes to dispatch of the Blazers. Wright stood next to the goal post in Neyland Stadium's north end zone where Denarius Moore caught the game-winning touchdown.

"It was very intriguing," Wright said. "The atmosphere was crazy."

He was scheduled to be in Auburn for today's game against Arkansas.

His list of offers, which includes the vast majority of SEC schools, has been narrowed to two: Tennessee and Auburn. The Tigers are currently ahead of the Vols, Wright said, but that very well could change after his official visit next weekend for the Alabama game.

"I'm still wide open," he said.

Wright said he was unaffected both by what he saw on the field at South Carolina, a team out of the running for his signature, or on a TV broadcast from Sanford Stadium.

"It's not like I'm going to go 'Ah, Tennessee lost,' " Wright said. "Maybe it meant a little something just because I knew how bad Georgia was this year, but it's not a big deal.

"I know it's a rebuilding year and Coach (Derek) Dooley is going to get his own recruiting classes in. I know things like that take time."

Wright, ranked the seventh-best overall prospect from Georgia and the seventh-best defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com, isn't just getting the UT pitch from linebackers coach Lance Thompson, his primary recruiter. Since his visit over the summer, Wright has kept in touch with UT commit Pat Martin, a four-star safety from Greenville, S.C.

Wright admitted that he didn't remember meeting Martin in Knoxville, but the power of Facebook has drawn the two closer.

"It's not like he's on my back," Wright said. "He texts me, hits me up on Facebook. He knows the process of getting overwhelmed with stuff like that. He's not on me like that."

Martin said he thinks Wright's mind is made up.

"I think he's going to be a Vol, personally," Martin said. "He talks about Tennessee a lot."

Big-Time Visitor: Wright said he's bringing one of his closest friends with him to Knoxville next weekend.

It just so happens to be his teammate, running back Isaiah Crowell (5-11, 190), one of the nation's top-ranked running backs.

"Isaiah said he's going to give it a shot," Wright said. "He trusts in me and believes in me. We like the same things and have a little bit of the same tastes."

Crowell, a five-star and the nation's second-best running back according to Scout.com, told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution last week that his final two schools in the running were Alabama and Georgia. Wright, though, said Crowell is also interested in Clemson, and is open to see what UT has to offer.

Traveling Man: Martin said he's still "100 percent" for Tennessee, but plans to take at least two more official visits elsewhere.

Martin said he would fly to UCLA near the end of the season and will also get a closer look at Arkansas.

"Teams are still recruiting me," Martin said.

Martin will make his official visit to UT for the Alabama game.

Andrew Gribble can be reached at 865-342-6327.

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Comments » 22

The7Maxims writes:

Wright needs to commit to Tennessee. This is his best chance for early playing time.

gormanvol writes:

jump aboard the dooley and lets 4x4 over the sec!

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

Would be a good thng if the team can regroup for the bammers.

PUL4VOLS writes:

Bama game or not we need to go after this dude in every way possible. It sure would be great if we hang tough with the Tide.

nocleats writes:

3 1/2 months till signing day, lots of commits, decommits, last minute changes and games between now and NSD.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess since you've pronounced it I might as well go ahead and "right it down" and " book it" and what not, huh?

VolFanNC writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wright is our to lose and we could easily do that with poor effort against Bama. Crowell is all bulldog. Only chance Bama has is if Richt gets the boot. Bama is too stacked at RB right.now. At GA he starts game 1. same for UT and is our best chance to make an Impression.

AllVol1 writes:

It doesn't hurt at all to have hopes, even if they are against the odds. I hope we can land Couch during his official visit. I also hope we impress Wright on the Bama weekend. If we could get the W and keep his "streak" alive, that would be crazy. And to hold the complete vision, it would be collosal to pull Crowell into the mix. Check out Crowell's You tube video highlights. That dude runs like a stud. My, but I would love to see him running in Orange tech-fit!!! Go Vols!

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctors ghost say we need this guy.
Bones never lie.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Son, honestly man, you have got to be the biggest all time loser in life....I checked my Vols website just before turning in because of an "up and at them" early Saturday morning, and man here you are...On a Friday night mind you...posting trash on an opposing teams site....the only other person I know that does this is probably the goofiest, most desperate dude I know...seriously... I ask him once why he spends that much time on opposing sites nanny,nanny, boo-booing...His answer....Uh,,,,,IIIIII ddddooooonnnn'tttt know...and I'm being serious...SECFB...man, for your sake get some help...Please...

txvolsfan writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

first time I have ever heard anyone say that Cheesenip can win a championship at Auburn?
When was that last championship???
Crowell going to Ga

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctors ghost say we need this guy.
Bones never lie.

what witch doctors ghost say.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Sounds like a great kid and very mature for his age..pl3, I agree with you!!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctors ghost say we need this guy.
Bones never lie.

We need a lot of guys Doc.....especially those that have DT next to their name.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I enjoy the fact that you never have anything positive to say about the Vols. That proves to me that UT will bounce back. If you weren't concerned you wouldn't be on this website. Right?!?!?
Thanks for always making me laugh.
Deuces!!!!!!!!!

Mobbdeep4life writes:

Interesting that Crowell is coming. Even if we aren't on his list the atmosphere next weeekend could make him think about things. He should also see the need for more playmakers. Hopefully the visit will swing Gabe Wright to commit to UT especially with Martin in his ear. Martin has become UT's best recruiter this year. I love it.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Mobbdeep4life:

I enjoy the fact that you never have anything positive to say about the Vols. That proves to me that UT will bounce back. If you weren't concerned you wouldn't be on this website. Right?!?!?
Thanks for always making me laugh.
Deuces!!!!!!!!!

Mobb,

A big high five for you on your addressing the situation with the lurking trolls. It's nice to see so many Vols identifying who these characters are. I often wonder if any team in America gets as much troll attention as we. Still haven't figured if they are just envious of the Tennessee tradition over the past 100 or so years or if they are simply lacking very much intelligence. Probably a lot of both.

Anyway, when Feb arrives, IMO we'll get our share of the players we need.

Rugby2 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Son, honestly man, you have got to be the biggest all time loser in life....I checked my Vols website just before turning in because of an "up and at them" early Saturday morning, and man here you are...On a Friday night mind you...posting trash on an opposing teams site....the only other person I know that does this is probably the goofiest, most desperate dude I know...seriously... I ask him once why he spends that much time on opposing sites nanny,nanny, boo-booing...His answer....Uh,,,,,IIIIII ddddooooonnnn'tttt know...and I'm being serious...SECFB...man, for your sake get some help...Please...

I have never understood these guys either. Every school is one bad hire away from mediocrity. Alabama fans can you say Debose, Price, Franchione, Shula? Florida fans Zook? We are down this year in talent and numbers and like every other school (except Vanderbilt) we are two solid recruiting classes away from contending for championships.

The early playing time these boys have gotten this year, will make them better players next year and I look FORWARD (not back, have already forgotten the LSU game) to next season and beyond. Koolaid and Orange colored glasses are personal favorites here in Florida!

Go Vols Beat Bama!!

Give Blood Play Rugby

jrobi124 writes:

I believe wright is ours he will be a vol. no way does a top recruit tries to bring in another top recruit to visit a place that he is not sold on. couch is ours to he just wants to get some free trips to see the country but he'll be a vol also godd luck CDD

BubbaJ writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctors ghost say we need this guy.
Bones never lie.

Bubba says, Vols need both these guys!

ChuyitoDawg writes:

I wouldn't read too much into the Wright's comments. He's all over the place.

Let me give you an example; He made these statements to a UT website. He has made similar comments about Bama, Auburn, and Clemson. This kid is enjoying the recruiting process, I have been following this kid for almost 2 years. So I knows a bit 'bout something.

UGA was in on him very early and he really liked us. Things changed when UGA hired a new Def. Co. I don't think Gabe wants to be in a 3-4, I think he prefers a 4-3. Nothing wrong with that, UGA backed off when Gabe showed little interest in the new Defensive scheme. I think Gabe took that personal. Ever since then, Gabe has gone out of his way to throw UGA under the bus. Gabe made bad comments to a rival website about how bad his visit went, how UGA did not accomodate him and his mother with a transport cart, and several other things were said. Then days later turns around and tells a UGA website that Dawg fans have nothing to worry about when his decision is made. I don't know what's up with this kid, I think he is enjoying all of the recruiting attention.

If you get him, great, good luck. Dude is one heck of a talent despite being a circus. I personally think he ends up in Auburn or UGA, with Clemson being the dark horse. UT could sell him with early playing time, so who knows when he gets up there. I do know that he is very close with Jarvis Jones, LB who just transfered to UGA this summer. Crowell is a very strong lean to UGA. 2 other 2012 top prospects from the same HS are very hard leans to UGA. All these boys have made it public that it would be very cool if they all played college ball together. This Carver-Columbus school is loaded with talent, UGA is trying to build a pipeline.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Our pitch is "Come and Play'!

No pines for you.

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