Alexander Wright (American football)

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Alexander Wright
No. 81, 89
Position: Wide receiver, Kick returner
Personal information
Date of birth: (1967-07-19) July 19, 1967 (age 49)
Place of birth: Albany, Georgia
Career information
High school: Albany (GA)
College: Auburn
NFL Draft: 1990 / Round: 2 / Pick: 26
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 101
Receiving yards: 1,597
Receiving touchdowns: 10
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Alexander Wright (born July 19, 1967) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League, two-time winner of the NFL's "Fastest Man" competition and current President and CEO for Alexander Wright Ministries in Amarillo, Texas. He played college football for Auburn University.

Early years[edit]

Wright attended Albany High School, where he focused on track and field until his senior season, when he made the football team. He played at wide receiver and cornerback, where his athletic ability allowed him to cover opposing players one-on-one without any additional support.

College career[edit]

He received a scholarship to play college football at Auburn University from 1986 to 1989, earning a Bachelor of Arts in adult education. He was initially a defensive back, but because of his poor tackling and lack of run support abilities, he was moved to wide receiver as a sophomore.

Wright developed slowly on the offensive side of the ball and didn't see much playing time, until becoming a starter as a senior after replacing the graduated Lawyer Tillman. In the season opener against the University of the Pacific, he registered 263 receiving yards (52.6 average) and 4 touchdowns. He had an outstanding game against the University of Alabama, recording 7 receptions for 143 yards in a 30-20 victory over unbeaten Alabama, in the first Iron Bowl to be played at Jordan-Hare Stadium.[1] After registering 30 receptions (led the team) for 714 yards and 6 touchdowns in a ground oriented offense, he received the Shug Jordan Award as the team's outstanding senior football player.

He finished in the school's all-time top ten career receiving list with 56 receptions for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns. He still holds the record with a career average of 23.57 yards per reception.[2][3]

He practiced track and field, competing in the 55 meters, 100 meters and 200 meters. He received All-American honors as a senior.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Wright was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round (26th overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft, the first wide receiver to be chosen and the first pick of the round. Although he was considered a raw football player, he was also seen as a gifted athlete with elite speed.

He was intended to become a deep threat wide receiver, to complement running back Emmitt Smith, chosen in the first round of the same draft. As well as Smith, he also had a long (40 days) rookie contract holdout, that forced him to miss training camp and the first two preseason games.[4]

His chief talent was on special teams as a kickoff returner, in which capacity he ranked second in the NFC in 1991. On December 22, 1991, he set the record for the longest play in Cowboys history, with a 102-yard kick off return against the Atlanta Falcons.[5]

Wright was one of the fastest players in the league, winning the NFL's "Fastest Man" competition in 1992 and 1993.[6] In May 1991, he was timed to have run the 40 yard dash in 4.14 seconds.[7] He was also the strongest wide receiver on the team.

He did not develop as well as expected, however, and when later asked about his performance, he admitted "I was never a polished package".[6] At the end of the 1991 season, the Cowboys began looking for trade offers and eventually sent him to the Los Angeles Raiders on October 13, 1992, in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick (#96-Ron Stone), when he still had no receptions following the first five games of the season.[8]

Los Angeles Raiders[edit]

Wright was acquired to complement Tim Brown and Willie Gault in the team's speed-driven offense. In 1993, he became a full-time starter and had his most productive season, recording 27 receptions for 462 yards. During the final game of that season and with the Raiders trailing the Denver Broncos 23-30, he caught the game tying touchdown pass from Jeff Hostetler and the Raiders went on to win the game 33-30, while earning a spot in the playoffs.[9]

In 1994, he was sidelined for most of training camp with a calf injury he suffered in the first week of activity, but still managed to keep his starting position.[10] During his time with the Raiders, sportscaster Chris Berman nicknamed him “If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want to Be” Wright.

St. Louis Rams[edit]

On March 22, 1995, he was signed as a free agent by the St. Louis Rams.[11] A bulging disk in his lower back forced him to miss the last 8 games of the season.[12] The next year his back problems resurfaced and he was limited to 3 games.[13] He retired after the 1996 season, due to health reasons related to his back.

Statistics[edit]

Receiving Rushing Fumbles
Year Team GP Rec Yds Avg TD Lng Att Yds Avg TD Lng Tot OwR Yds
1990 DAL 15 11 104 9.5 0 20 3 26 8.7 0 14 1 1 0
1991 DAL 16 10 170 17.0 0 53 2 -1 -0.5 0 3 0
1992 DAL 4 0 0 0
1992 LAR 10 12 175 14.6 2 41t 0 1 0 0
1993 LAR 15 27 462 17.1 4 68t 0 0
1994 LAR 16 16 294 18.4 2 76t 0 0 1 0
1995 STL 8 23 368 16.0 2 50 1 17 17.0 0 17 0
1996 STL 3 2 24 12.0 0 13 0 0
7 seasons 87 101 1597 15.8 10 76t 6 42 7.0 0 17 2 2 0

Personal life[edit]

In 1999, Wright earned the Master of Arts in sports management from Lindenwood University. In 2002 he served as the interim head coach of the River City Renegades, a National Indoor Football League team.

In 2003 he served as the wide receiver coach for Francis Howell Central High School in St. Charles, MO. In 2004, he was the wide receiver coach for West Texas A&M University. In 2005, he was hired to be the offensive coordinator at Greensboro College. He was the offensive coordinator for Southwestern Assemblies of God University. He then took a role as Athletic Director and head football coach at San Jacinto Christian Academy in Amarillo, Texas. He was there from 2008-2010. He also assisted the track team and help mentor many young kids at the school.

Wright later moved to San Antonio for his ministry and is the former Athletic Director and head football coach for Cornerstone Christian Schools, San Antonio Texas. He currently also serves as a pastor at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX.

References[edit]

  1. ^ By MALCOLM MORAN, Special to The New York Times (1989-12-03). "COLLEGE FOOTBALL - Alabama Tripped Up By Auburn". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  2. ^ Auburn records page
  3. ^ Opening day best in SEC history
  4. ^ "Daily News - Búsqueda en el archivo de Google Noticias". News.google.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  5. ^ "Bryan McCann is Player of the Week - Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2010-11-16. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  6. ^ a b Whitt
  7. ^ Smith, Timothy W. (1991-06-30). "FOOTBALL - Notebook - Browns Won't Be Built in a Season". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  8. ^ "Times Daily - Búsqueda en el archivo de Google Noticias". News.google.com. 1992-10-14. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  10. ^ August 19, 1994 (1994-08-19). "PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Wright Might Be on Way Out - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  11. ^ "Transactions". NYTimes.com. 1995-03-23. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  12. ^ "Lawrence Journal-World - Búsqueda en el archivo de Google Noticias". News.google.com. 1995-10-13. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  13. ^ "The Southeast Missourian - Búsqueda en el archivo de Google Noticias". News.google.com. 1996-09-05. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 

External links[edit]