2005: The dominating Wright likely could at defensive tackle as a junior in 2005. He'll sit out 2005 spring drills to concentrate on his academics.
2004: Wright was an often-used and effective backup defensive tackle behind Shaun Cody as a sophomore in 2004 and even started twice (BYU and Arizona) when Cody moved to end. Overall in 2004 while appearing in 11 games, he had 23 tackles, including 6 for losses of 17 yards (with 2 sacks for 10 yards), plus he deflected 2 passes and recovered 2 fumbles. He made 2004 All-Pac-10 honorable mention. He had a team-high 6 tackles (with 2 for losses, including a sack) and returned a fumble 20 yards for a TD against Colorado State. He added 3 tackles against California (with a key 5-yard sack on the Bears' failed last-minute scoring attempt) and Arizona State (with 0.5 sack and a deflection). He had 2 tackles, a fumble recovery and a deflection at Washington State. He posted 3 tackles (2.5 for loss) against Oklahoma. He was hampered during the second half of the year with a sprained right elbow that he hurt prior to the Arizona State game and then during the Washington contest. And he sprained his left ankle against Arizona, which sidelined him for USC's next 2 games (Notre Dame and UCLA).
2003: Wright was a backup defensive tackle behind Shaun Cody as a first-year freshman in 2003. Overall in 2003 while appearing in 9 games (all but Auburn, California, Arizona State and Washington), he had 8 tackles, including 2 for losses of 10 yards (with an 8-yard sack), plus 3 deflections. He missed the Washington game because of an infection on his chin. He had 3 tackles at Arizona, 2 against both Stanford and Oregon State, and 1 (an 8-yard sack) against Michigan in the Rose Bowl (with a deflection).
JUNIOR COLLEGE: He actually signed with USC in 2002, but did not qualify for admission, so he attended Long Beach (Calif.) City College that season as a part-time student (he didn't play football there).
HIGH SCHOOL: He earned 2001 Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Tom Lemming All-American, Max Emfinger All-American, Student Sports All-American second team, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Far West, Prep Star All-Western Region, Student Sports All-West first team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Las Vegas Sun Super 11 first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division I Defensive MVP, Los Angeles Times All-Southeast/South Coast first team and Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team Defensive MVP honors as a senior defensive lineman at Poly High in Long Beach (Calif.). He had 142 tackles (60 solo), including 16 sacks, plus 4 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles, 20 deflections and an interception. As a junior in 2000, he made Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Underclass first team, All-CIF Division I first team and Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team while recording 95 tackles (57 solo), with 25 sacks. He was a 3-year starter as Poly went 39-1-1 and won 3 CIF Division I titles. Current Trojans Darnell Bing, Hershel Dennis and Winston Justice also prepped at Poly.
PERSONAL: His cousin is former Arizona State tailback Mike Williams.
GAME-BY-GAME WITH MANUEL WRIGHT