Lee Wright may have been slightly overshadowed throughout the week by his linebacker cohorts, but the York senior showed out Saturday, making seven tackles for the Sandlappers, as well as two tackles-for-loss, a sack and a key third quarter interception in a very busy afternoon.
As fellow linebacker, and South Carolina defensive MVP Ben Boulware said, Wright “played his butt off.”
“Lee Wright from York played a good game,” said South Carolina coach Ray Stackley. “I think all those linebackers played good today.”
T.L. Hanna’s Boulware, headed to Clemson next season, and Greenwood’s Davon Durant may have grabbed more of the headlines, and rightfully so, but Wright was right there among the difference makers in the game.
“It felt great,” an excited Wright said after the game. “It’s just amazing to be here.”
The trio were equally menacing to the Tarheels’ offense, though Durant had to leave the game late with a pulled groin. Boulware, sporting flowing blond locks not unlike Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers, finished with nine tackles, two tackles-for-loss, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Durant also had nine tackles and a forced fumble.
“Ahh man,” said Wright, “practicing with those guys is hard but it makes you better.”
Boulware was especially impressive in front of a number of Clemson-clad fans.
“I’m a tell you about Ben Boulware, one word: motor,” gushed Stackley, who coached South Carolina’s linebackers this week, “that cat’s got a motor. He goes full speed everywhere he goes. He’s just a good football player.”
Wright too may have made some folks take notice. He was lined up in the “Dog,” position, enabling him to make a number of tackles, including a pair of sure-handed open-field tackles on the Tarheels’ final drive.
On a “Dog Under” play, Wright slipped inside the tackle and popped the quarterback when he stepped up in the pocket.
On his interception, Wright had an inkling that the running back was headed toward the end zone on a wheel route and was in the right place when B.J. Beecher under-threw the receiver. Wright was tackled in the end zone for a touchback and Sandlappers possession.
The Cougars’ stopper has scholarship offers from Massachusetts, Furman, Ohio and Toledo, but after Saturday’s effort, he may have a few more coming.
“I think today might have made some college coaches look at me a little more,” said Wright in a bit of an understatement.
Bret McCormick 329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T