Senior wide receiver Kendall Wright complements Griffin but sets his own records
By Daniel Wallace
Even Superman can’t do it alone.
While most of the credit for the Bears’ stellar offense this season is attributed to Heisman hopeful quarterback Robert Griffin III, and rightfully so, one player stands out as Griffin’s right-hand man when the Bears take the field on offense.
Of Griffin’s 267 completions, 101 of them have gone to the player who wears the No. 1, senior wide receiver Kendall Wright.
Wright came to Baylor from Pittsburg, Texas, and has been making big plays and eye-popping catches for the Bears ever since.
In 2008, his true freshman year, Wright made an immediate impact on the team; he led in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. He holds several all-time school records with 3,913 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns. Wright caught passes in all his 49 career games for Baylor.
He is the only player in school history to record 200–plus receiving yards in a single game; he accomplished that feat twice, once at Kansas State on Oct. 1 and also in Baylor’s upset victory over Oklahoma on Nov. 19.
Griffin said Wright is a dependable, reliable receiver he trusts, and he is not surprised to see Wright’s leaping catches or athletic grabs.
“Kendall is that guy,” Griffin said. “He will catch that anything you throw near him. If he believes he can catch it, he will catch it. I’m not amazed by anything that Kendall does, just because I’ve seen it and he’s an amazing player, so nothing that he does is like, ‘Wow, how did he do that?”
In turn, Wright said in the case of his special chemistry with Griffin, practice really does make perfect.
“It’s the way we practice,” he said. “It all starts with practice. If we don’t practice hard every day, then none of this will happen. We won’t be in sync, and it won’t happen. So the way we practice, it translates to the game. Practice hard and we play hard. We practice at a high level.”
Art Briles, Baylor’s head coach, said he has enjoyed watching Wright grow both as a receiver and as a person in his time at Baylor.
“He’s been a tremendous weapon for us the last four years,” he said. “The thing that we’re most proud about Kendall is certainly how he’s improved with maturity and with experience. There is only one way to get that. That’s to live it and feel it, and get on the field and play.”
And the way Wright plays the game, Briles said, has been a determining factor in his growth. Wright, who considers himself No. 1 one in terms of receivers in the Big 12, credits his quickness and work ethic as what set him apart, but Briles said Wright’s main contribution to the team is his mentality.
“Kendall is a guy that lays it on the line every time he plays, every snap,” he said. “He plays at high rate of speed, which can be conducive to some minor bruises and sprains, but he has done a tremendous job of being a tough-minded, mature individual for us. It’s been a good four years at Baylor University for him and for us.”
Baylor will lose Wright, a general studies major, when he graduates in May.