Angela Moryan: Coach, you’ve been very vocal about not wanting to play a spring season. What do you think is the number one issue when it comes to growth of younger players?
Rusty Wright: If I was in year five or six, don’t think it’d be that big of a deal. But just finishing the first year and trying to get things moving, then you throw a wrench into it, then another wrench into it, I’m going to have guys almost ready to graduate, or halfway to graduation or better, that haven’t had those lifting opportunities, that haven’t had that time of growth in football that you need for us. That’s my biggest concern. Do I think we got young talented guys? Sure I do. But I think in the long run, they need that time more in the weight room right now than they need to be practicing.
Moryan: You lost your number one receiver Bryce Nunnelly to the transfer portal. How have you seen the team fill that hole?
Wright: Well, we just got a bunch of young guys that are going to have to play. We’ve got some older guys in Reggie Henderson and Ty Summers that are going to have to play a little better. But we got some young guys that we need to see play too. I think that will be the biggest difference or the biggest key.
Moryan: Considering all of that, how beneficial will this spring season be?
Wright: Well, I think it’s huge. I think we’ll have a chance to evaluate some guys and again I think it gives us an opportunity to see where our weaknesses are and see how much growth we’ve got to be, and if it needs to be in the weight room where we have to fix it, or does it need to be on the field by position or by player or technique or scheme or whatever it is. I think that will go a long way for us.
Moryan: We’ve talked a lot of unknowns. What are some things you know about this team?
Wright: I mean, I think they’ll compete and I think they’ll play hard. That’s one thing we’ve changed over the last however long we’ve been here. I think those guys will show up to work everyday, whether we work the best or always play the smartest, I don’t know yet. I don’t know if we’ve got that part accomplished here yet. But I think these guys understand how important competing is every day and how important it is to get better every day and take care of your business every day.
Moryan: Three years ago, when you got this job, you said, ‘I’m home.’ Home has been kind of abusing you over the last three years. Do you still feel like this is home?
Wright: Sure I do, sure I do, because it’s important to me. It’s important to me to see this place do well. It’s important to me to see these young men do well and graduate and go on because I think it just leads to better parts of their lives. And yeah, it’s been different and a little rocky at times, but I’m thankful to be here, glad to be here, don’t want to be anywhere else.