Southern Wayne starting quarterback D’untae Wright made it official that he intends to play football at Chowan University when he signed a national letter of intent on March 23.
The signing comes after a year of improvement for the Saints football program, which reached three wins for the first time since 2011.
Wright joined the Saints after transferring from Wayne Preparatory Academy, where he was a key player on the basketball team and wasn’t eligible to play for Southern Wayne until week five of the regular season.
Taking over at any position in the middle of the season is a difficult task, and taking over as the quarterback and leader of an offense in the middle of the season is even more difficult.
Southern Wayne defensive coordinator in 2022 and current head coach Matt Hine said that Wright took the challenge head-on and had immediate success.
“When he took over at quarterback, you could see the difference in leadership and just the way our huddle behaved. Certainly, our offense took steps forward as soon as he took over as quarterback,” Hine said.
At quarterback, Wright, who has tremendous speed, was used primarily as a runner but also as a passer in Southern Wayne’s triple-option offense.
Hine said that with Wright at quarterback, he could trust him to make the right decision.
“He was really … smart (at) figuring out quickly when to give the ball and when to keep the ball,” Hine said. I would say his strengths … in order were leadership, … running ability, and decision making,” Hine said.
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Hine added that as the defensive coordinator, he also could count on Wright to make big plays at the cornerback position, but he ultimately had to limit his snaps there to keep him healthy at quarterback.
“As a defensive coordinator, I didn’t get him as much as I (would have liked),” Hine said. “If he wasn’t playing quarterback, he would have been a starting cornerback for defense, and he wouldn’t have come off the field.”
At the next level, Hine said he excepts to see Wright playing at cornerback, the position he was recruited to play at Chowan.
However, Hine said he wouldn’t be surprised if Wright ended up on the depth chart at quarterback, as Southern Wayne ran the same offensive system last season as the one that Chowan currently uses.
“I think he is going to probably transition over to being a defensive back at the next level. That’s kind of up in the air … I get the sense that is the first (position) they are going to try with him,” Hine said.
They are a triple-option team, so I think that they may very well give him a look at quarterback and see what they have because he would certainly fit into their offense very well.”
Wright has yet to decide on his major at Chowan, but Hine said he believes Wright will excel in whatever he chooses.
“At the end of the day, I think Chowan is going to get themselves an excellent student-athlete at their university,” Hine said. “He’s such a nice young man, such a high quality, and a high character person.”