CULVER CITY, CA – Lance Wright is from the North Pole.
No, really, the North Pole. Wright will be a junior at North Pole High School in Alaska this fall and Santa says it’s cool to play football.
Wright, a 6-2, 188-pound WR, paid a visit to Los Angeles earlier this week to work with renowned wide receivers coach Charles Collins, also known as Coach C.
The two met at the invitation-only Football University (FBU) in Odessa, Texas when Wright was freshman. While in L.A., Wright was one of four wide receivers, including the Vikings’ Jerome Simpson and newly acquired Miami Dolphin Chad Ochocinco, that Collins put through drills and had filmed for a soon to be released workout video.
Wright, meanwhile, is on the comeback trail. He tore his ACL and meniscus on the opening kickoff of the first game of his sophomore year last season which required him to be flown to Dallas for emergency surgery.
“My meniscus was locked in my joint,” he said.
After extensive rehab, Wright competed in track during the spring and says he’s 100 percent healthy. He came to Los Angeles to work out in preparation for the upcoming season. It’s a testament to Collins.
“You got people coming from Alaska to come work with Coach C, so you know he’s doing something right,” Simpson said.
Added Wright, “he’s just the best. He just knows everything. He can look at me when I run one route and tell me what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it. He’s the only person that can do that.”
In addition to being able work with pros, linking up with Coach C, and being outside of Alaska not only allows Wright the chance to get better, but also to be seen in the process.
“You don’t really get much exposure in Alaska from D-1 schools but there’s lower schools that our coaches can talk to and that they know,” Wright said. “But, the reason I (come) down to these camps is to get exposure.
“I get exposure, mainly, from the camps and people I know.”
Cal, Miami and Princeton are schools Wright says he’s heard from. He participated in a camp at Texas Tech and says he received good feedback from the Red Raiders’ coaching staff.
Being away from home to train provides a stark change of pace from an area that receives nearly 65 inches of snowfall per year.
“We don’t have any indoor facilities so in the winter, it’s like 6 or 7 months or whatever it is, it’s all snow on the ground. You can’t run outside,” Wright said. “You can’t do anything outside really. We got a gym and a weight room and it’s pretty much all we do. When we get ready for track we just run in the hallways and just try to find open space.”
Los Angeles is just one stop on the summer road trip for Wright, which started nearly two months ago. Wright has spent the majority of his summer vacation training in Texas before coming to California to work with Coach C. Later this week, he’ll participate at the FBU TOP GUN 2012 camp in Williamsburg, Virginia before making his way back home.
Despite the difficulties that come with training and lack of exposure, Wright says he’s OK with the travel and doesn’t plan on leaving Alaska before he finishes his high school career.
“(It’s) home,” he said. “I got friends and this is where we’ve been forever so, I don’t want to move.”