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Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Georgia Tech's Wright making a push at A-back

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

At 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, Georgia Tech A-back Marcus Wright is the smallest player on Georgia Tech's roster.

After a downfield block on Saturday that freed teammate Anthony Allen for a 15-yard burst, those within the program seem convinced the speedy back can play much bigger that his stature might indicate.

"Oh, he's playing so high right now," coach Paul Johnson said, according to the Macon Telegraph. "He's a little fireplug, and he's pushing to get out and start. He's really getting after it."

Wright, who grew up playing football in San Antonio, where cut blocking wasn't only allowed but encouraged, has used his blocking skills to help separate himself from an otherwise crowded backfield this spring. Wright ditched the redshirt in the sixth game of last season and served as the No. 2 A-back and a primary kick returner.

One of the most important things Wright said he learned from last year was the blocking scheme -- and that's been an emphasis for the A-backs this spring.

"I think we've gotten a lot better at that," he said. "We came in here having to cut block. Most people here weren't even allowed to cut in high school ball. We had to learn how to block a totally different way than what we're used to. The athletes you're trying to cut are a lot better. You got from cutting 190-pound linebackers to 250-pound grown men. Some of 'em even have kids and stuff. You've gotta put your face in the dirt."

Both Lucas Cox and Roddy Jones, who started every game at A-back in 2008, return, but Wright said he said he's hoping his playing time could increase this year and has been getting reps with both the first- and second-team offenses this spring. Allen is also competing for a spot there and facing high expectations.

"I hope it changes," Wright said of his role, "but that's for the coaches to decide after the spring. We still have the summer and a long ways to go. Hopefully I can make that transition."

Wright said this time around, he's got a much better grasp on the offense.

"Once you learn the offense, you can play a lot faster than what I was last fall," said Wright, who had just four carries but averaged 9.2 yards per carry. "It's a tricky offense to learn. You can study and watch film, but you have to go out there and play."

At this rate, odds are he'll be doing more of that this fall.