23 // Safety for the Chicago Bears *
From: Lauderdale Manors, Florida
Lives in: Wheeling
Wright has been a football star since high school, when scouts rated him the second-best safety in the country. Injuries interrupted his first season with the Bears, but that didn’t stop coaches and teammates from talking about his promise, on the field and off.
Brian Urlacher once said you were a “good kid.” “Some athletes can be hardheaded, not coachable; they feel like no one is better than them. My mom didn’t raise me like that. She always taught me to do unto others as you want them to do unto you. I always show people respect.”
So you don’t take yourself too seriously. “On the field, I do. Off the field, I’m mellow. But don’t get me wrong—I’m young, I have fun. I’m a great dancer. That’s my secret talent. And I’ll dance anywhere.”
On his mentor, retired NFL star Chris Carter: “I met him in high school, and he became a real guiding light for me. He taught me to always be respectful and take school seriously and keep a level head. He taught me that if I put myself in the right situation, I could achieve everything I wanted. So, growing up, I really felt like I could do that. In high school, I did all of my schoolwork, I buckled down, I did OK on the SAT. I wasn’t the smartest kid in college, but I did my job. I finished with a 3.8 GPA.”
On friends: “I’m there for them whenever they need me. I look at my friends as brothers, and I try to motivate them. I try to come through for them and tell them, ‘Whatever is going on, you are going to make it through this.’ I’m also the type who loves to have fun, who loves to joke around.”
On ladies: “I look for a girl who’s very smart, who knows what she wants out of life, and who is dedicated to whatever it is that she’s doing. I look for someone who is humble, who is a churchgoing lady, someone who can make me laugh and who’s not always so serious. At the end of the day, you want to be with someone who is going to make you feel good—someone who, when we lose a game, will make me feel better. She doesn’t have to be a sports fan. But I do want her to support me in what I do.” —N.I.
* interested in women * interested in men
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