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Screven County's Wright likes Eagles
Screven County's C.J. Wright, center, celebrates after a sack during a 28-20 victory over Douglass in last season's GHSA Class AA state playoffs. Wright has verbally committed to Georgia Southern for the 2018 season.

    He benches 515 pounds, he squats 685 pounds and runs a 4.95 40-yard dash.
    It's safe to say Screven County’s CJ Wright isn’t your ordinary two-star prospect. Heck, take away the stars. The 1000 yard rusher-10.5 TFL stat line combo is rare at any level of high school football, but when you tack on the FB-DT label it gets even more unique.
    Being a Sylvania native and growing up a Georgia Southern fan for most of his life, the choice on where to play college football was easy. Wright pledged his commitment to Georgia Southern Thursday evening, less than a week after his teammate Tyquan Johnson pledged his commitment to the University of South Carolina.
    “I was always rooting for GS, most of my friends did too,” Wright said. “So I guess it all worked out for me in the end.”
    Despite Wright’s ridiculous measurables and noteworthy accomplishments — among them being named first team All State by four different publications and being named the region 4-AA player of the year — he only received offers from two power five schools: Kansas State and Rutgers. Others schools to make offers were Colorado State, Georgia State, Arkansas State, Marshall, Appalachian State, Tulane, Florida Atlantic, Coastal Carolina, Troy, Hampton and Mercer.
    But Wright doesn’t care about the size of the schools who offer him or the magnitude of the offer. He’s made it clear Georgia Southern is the school for him because only they can offer him what he really wants in a college program.
    “I mean, I don’t look at P-5 and all that. I don’t pay attention to that,” Wright said. “I look at it like this is a team I know I could start at. I really leaned there because I know I could start there early and get into the league.”
    Wright will readily admit it was frustrating at the beginning of the recruiting process when he was struggling to get any offers. It didn’t make any sense — what’s a 285 pound defensive tackle who can bench press half a chiliad got to do to get noticed?
    Wright had turned in great performances at the numerous camps he attended over many summers. In 2015 he won the defensive line MVP at The Opening Camp in Charlotte and was then named as one of the top-five defensive linemen in the Atlanta camp this summer. The Opening, sponsored by Nike, is a famous camp known for attracting the best recruits from all around the country.
    Normally these camps are overrun with four and five star prospects, but that never stopped Wright from showing out against the top linemen in the country.
    “When I go to combines I beat the four and five star guys,” Wright said. “But these schools still look at height. GSU always told me that didn’t matter. They know I can get after the ball despite that.”
    According to Wright, height always seems to come up as the excuse for some bigger schools overlooking him. Wright stands at six-feet tall and to the average person six feet seems like a suitable height. But for most high-profile Division-I programs, their ideal defensive tackle stands six-foot-two and weighs around 295 pounds.
    Sure, there are exceptions to the rule. NFL All-Pro Aaron Donald was six-foot, 260 pounds coming out of high school when he committed to Pittsburgh as a three-star prospect. But Wright has learned to let the little things like this go and let his play prove he’s worth more than two stars.
    “I’ve had schools tell me that I needed to be taller, then they go off and offer to a kid that’s taller than me,” Wright said. “At first it was frustrating, but I had to realize there’s nothing I can do about that part of it.”
    Wright’s high school head coach Ron Duncan will vouch for his ability to play at the next level and he knows a thing or two about coaching blue chip prospects. When he was the coach of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School in Bamberg, SC he helped mentor Ricky Sapp and Da’Quan Bowers — both former five-star prospects and former NFL draft picks. But in Duncan’s eyes, Wright is just as good as the former Clemson stars.
    “CJ is a great player, but more important than that he is a great person. It's always great when your best players are your best leaders and hardest workers and CJ reflects that as good as anyone I've coached,” Duncan said. “I've been blessed to coach a bunch of great players several of which went on to the NFL and I wouldn't trade CJ for any of them.”
    By all means Wright should be primed for another stellar season in 2017. There’s still plenty of time for other schools to keep an eye out for him and possibly throw more offers in the ring. But even if Alabama, Florida State or Georgia came calling Wright says his recruitment is closed.
    “They can come knocking on the door, but it won’t be open,” Wright said. “My word is gold.”
    Georgia Southern fans will get a sneak peak at Wright for the first time at the field he’ll call home in 2018. Screven County will take on Bluffton (SC) in the Erk Russell Classic Aug. 19 at Paulson Stadium at 7:30 p.m.