Big 12: Mario Christobal

Willis Wright decides on FIU

February, 3, 2010
Heralded wide receiver Willis Wright had a tough decision.

It took him more than five minutes at a Wednesday press conference in Miami before he finally decided on Florida International University.

The Miami Herald reported that Wright buried his head in his hands for nearly five minutes, not looking up, before he made his decision.

The television cameras were there and Wright had three hats laid out neatly in front of him for his finalists -- West Virginia, FIU and Nebraska. But when it came time for him to make his announcement, the Herald reported that Wright sobbed uncontrollably before his mother finally spoke up.

"Come on Willis, people are waiting, be strong honey," Allison Mike told her son, according to the Herald.

Finally, Wright collected himself, grabbed the FIU cap and put it on.

Playing with FIU coach Mario Christobal will give Wright a chance to be a featured receiver, if he can make his grades and become academically eligible for college. He was ESPNU's No. 19 wide receiver in the nation and the 121st player on ESPNU's 150.

"It was incredibly difficult,'' Wright told the Herald. "I simply put my head down in my hands and looked for some guidance from the Lord. I literally made up my mind in those few minutes. I had great visits to West Virgnia and Nebraska but FIU was especially great."

Wright said building the FIU program in his hometown was a temptation too great to turn down.

"I guess I just want to be a part of something that's in the process of being built rather than something that has already been built,'' said Wright, who produced 29 receptions for 677 yards and 10 touchdowns for Miami Springs High School in 2009. "I'm looking forward to help FIU continue to build.''

Wright would have helped Nebraska, providing a deep receiving threat at a position where the Cornhuskers could have used some help.

It sounds like he labored long and hard before making his announcement to turn them down.

Pelini still a pup compared to most bowl coaches

December, 17, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

I feel a little remiss that we didn't celebrate Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's birthday last week in a suitable manner.

Pelini turned 41 on Saturday, a likely day for stoppage of mail and garbage delivery considering his early success with the Cornhuskers.

A rash of recent hirings of younger coaches has dropped Pelini to 13th among the youngest FBS head coaches. And his matchup with Clemson's Dabo Swinney in the Gator Bowl will be only the second time that Pelini has been older than his opposing coach. The only other time that happened was when he beat Ron Prince and Kansas State earlier this season.

And here's another way to place Pelini and Swinney's youth in perspective. Their combined ages at kickoff for the Jan. 1 game in Jacksonville will be 80 years, 1 month and 31 days. That total is far less than Penn State's Joe Paterno, who will be 82 years and 11 days old on that date.

Here's a look at the youngest FBS coaches in the nation. Coaches who have been hired since the end of the season to their new jobs are indicated with an asterisk.

Youth Movement
NameSchoolAgeBirthdateBowl berth
Lane Kiffin *Tennessee33May 9, 1975--
Pat FitzgeraldNorthwestern34Dec. 2, 1974Alamo
Steve Sarkisian*Washington34March 8, 1974--
Dan Mullen*Mississippi State36April 27, 1972--
David ElsonWestern Kentucky37Aug. 26, 1971--
Mario ChristobalFla. International38Sept. 9, 1970--
Bret BielemaWisconsin38Jan. 13, 1970Champs Sports
Mike Locksley*New Mexico38Dec. 25, 1969--
Dabo Swinney*Clemson39Nov. 20, 1969Gator
Al GoldenTemple39Aug. 4, 1969--
Derek DooleyLouisiana Tech40June 10, 1969Independence
Butch JonesCentral Michigan40Jan. 17, 1968Motor City
Bo PeliniNebraska41Dec. 13, 1967Gator



Thursday, 11/27
Saturday, 11/29