WORCESTER -- Throughout his high school career Quron Wright has heard his share of naysayers. Standing 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, people have contrived their own opinions regarding the Holy Name running back, articulating he is too small to continue playing the game he loves. Similar remarks have also come from college coaches.
Wright, however, chooses to pay no attention to the pessimists in the crowd. In his own mind and soul, he knows what his capabilities are and so to do the Napoleans.
Entering his fourth season at the varsity level, Wright has emerged into one of the top backfield threats in Massachusetts. He currently ranks second all-time in rushing at Holy Name with 3,637 yards. Wright sits on the threshold of breaking the milestone held by Emil Igwenagu, who gained 5,037 yards for the Naps before taking his talents to UMass.
Because of his accomplishments on the field, Wright is making a strong case that size doesn't matter.
“I don’t think height should be that big of a factor,” said Wright. “If you can score touchdowns and gain positive yardage that’s the whole point isn’t it? I think coaches weigh too much on how the running backs should look. To me, I would take my size over someone who is 5-foot-10 any day. I say that because defenses are not going to be able to see me behind the offensive line. I see that as an advantage.”
Opposing schools know all too well what Wright brings to the table. Ask any of them and most will tell you the majority of their defensive package schemes begin with him.
“As a blocker for Quron the past three years I can tell you that he always seems to find the hole no matter where it is,” Naps senior tackle/defensive tackle Basit Dennis said. “He’s going 100 percent on every play. He’s durable, is very quick and very agile. To be honest, I wouldn’t want to block for anyone but him. You can’t measure his size. It's all about what is in his heart. I don’t know how he does it sometimes. We just do our work up front and let him take off and do his thing. He's incredible.”
Wright has proven he is not just a threat out of the backfield. He is also the team’s punt and kick returner on special teams, having gained over 1,700 yards. Yet in spite of his offensive numbers, Wright has not garnered much attention from college programs because of his size. Wright believes he can play at the Division 1 level and remains hopeful he will have an opportunity to prove it. UConn is the only Division 1 program that has displayed any interest thus far.
Before passing judgement, some of these college coaches need only to go back a few years to see what another 5-foot-7 running back from Massachusetts did. Joe Morris, like Wright, was not highly-recruited after putting up gargantuan numbers at Ayer High School in the mid 1970s. Syracuse University opted not to follow the pattern of most other programs however, deciding to ignore his dimensions and offered him a scholarship. All Morris did was become the Orangemen’s all-time rushing leader with 4,299 yards, surpassing such legends as Jim Brown, Larry Csonka and Floyd Little. He later went on to have a celebrated career with the New York Giants, winning a Super Bowl title in 1987.
“Everybody is looking for these hyped figures with combine results and it’s not realistic,” said Holy Name coach Mike Pucko, who played his college ball at UConn. “A football player is a football player and a big stiff is a big stiff. I know our kids can play and I don’t care what height they are. If they get the job done then what’s the big deal? Quron has led the area in scoring and is projected to rush for over 5,000 yards for his career. He has great football intincts, plays low to the ground, is hard to tackle and hard to find. He simply gets the job done. For people to be that short-sighted in saying he is to small to play at the next level are full of it.”
In essence, Wright is cognitive element in what makes the Naps go. His progressions since his freshman year have climbed steadily. In each of the past three seasons, he has helped guide Holy Name to three Super Bowl berths only to come up short all three times, including a loss to Nashoba Regional last year.
“This year we have a lot to prove,” Wright stated. “If we get back to the Super Bowl again we need to play our hearts out. Without question we have big expectations coming into this season.”
Unlike many of the teams on Holy Name's schedule, depth is not a luxury here. Carrying approximately 28 kids on the varsity and go two deep at most positions, the Naps have prided themselves on being an over-achieving, blue collar bunch _ the kind of team that will take a punch but give one right back. In retrospect, the Naps also realize a season of hope can quickly turn into one of despair should injuries mount.
“If we stay healthy then we are capable of anything,” Pucko said. “We don’t have a lot of back ups on this team but if we can stay healthy then we can play with anybody.”