Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best

“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”

-RONNIE LOTT

Scooby Wright III: From Two Star to Superstar

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High school football players are rated by stars.  The so-called experts give the prospects from one to five stars, depending on how they expect them to perform in college.  Five is a superstar, four an excellent player, three a capable one, two is someone who should apply at Wal-Mart.

Phillip Wright III received two stars as a senior at Cardinal Newman High School in Windsor, Ca.  Although he was an all-state player, there just wasn’t much of a rush to recruit him.

Now, three years later, Phillip Wright III, known to all as Scooby, has another problem. Where to put all the hardware he’s won as a dazzling linebacker at Arizona.  Among his trophies are The Bronko Nagurski Award, the Vince Lombardi Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award, all given to the nation’s top defensive player and all won by Scooby Wright III, a two-star recruit, last year when he was only a sophomore!!!  To say he is exceeding expectations would be a gross understatement.

He may need to make room for his growing mountain of trophies as he has been nominated for the 12th Annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, given to the outstanding defensive player of the year who has the biggest IMPACT on his team, both on and off the field.

And what an IMPACT Scooby is making.  Last year he made 163 tackles, including 29 for loss (best in the nation) while winning the Pat Tillman Award as the top defensive player in the Pac-12 (the first sophomore to do so).

Says former Arizona teammate Jake Fischer, himself a Lott IMPACT Trophy candidate when he played in Tucson:  “He’s always working to improve physically and mentally.  He eats, sleeps and breathes football.  He’s the perfect mold for a (Head Coach) Rich Rodriguez team.  The kid is a dog.”

When Rodriguez first saw Scooby play in high school, he said: “I remember thinking, this guys is a really good player.  I asked, ‘OK, so who else do we have to beat to recruit him and it wasn’t really a whole lot.”

And Scooby is not one to forget.  The now 248-pound middle linebacker was turned down by every other school in the Pac-12 before landing a scholarship at Arizona.  His twitter handle is @TwostarScoob.  He recently posted a saying from James Cook: “Do just once what others say you can’t do and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”

He also remains steadfast in his ultimate goal, the NFL.  He told Ted Miller of ESPN this spring:  “That’s been my dream since I was a little kid,” he said. “You know how when you’re a first grader and people ask you what you want to be when you get older? I’d say, ‘I want to play in the NFL. That has been my goal since I started playing football at the age of 6 or 7. And that was the most frustrating thing about the recruiting process. No one thought I was good enough.”

“I think Scooby will be a better player next year than he was this year,” Rodriguez told ESPN. “You’ve got to have the mentality he has. He still has an edge about him. He still has a chip on his shoulder.”

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