He was the one unanimous five-star on the Vols’ roster this past year, and Tennessee football offensive lineman Darnell Wright finally seems to be receiving his due. One of the best SEC players the past two years is giving him plenty of praise.
Alabama Crimson Tide edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. named Wright as the best offensive lineman he faced all year. Evan Lazar of Patriots.com reported on the glowing comments from Anderson.
To those who covered last years’ game between Tennessee football and Alabama, though, this wasn’t shocking. Starting at right tackle, Wright kept Anderson at bay.
For the game, Anderson had three total tackles, only one of which was solo, and half a tackle for a loss. He had no sacks despite racking up 10 all year.
Part of that was Josh Heupel’s scheme, which makes it impossible for teams to disguise blitzes, but the other part was Wright. Amidst all the touchdowns Jalin Hyatt had and all the yards Hendon Hooker had, Wright was the catalys for the offense that day.
As a result, he’s the guy who stands out about Hyatt and Hooker as the best NFL Draft prospect from Rocky Top. This guy is a first-rounder, and many analysts are starting to see him as exactly that.
Becoming a starting right tackle for the Vols as a freshman in 2019, Wright has had to move around a lot and change systems. He was a left tackle Heupel’s first year in 2021 before moving back to right tackle in 2022.
Anybody who saw him this past year finally got to understand why he was a five-star coming out of West Virginia, though. He may be the hardest player for Tennessee football to replace this year, and that’s saying something.
In fact, offensive line is the biggest reason to believe the Vols could have a fall-off this year, and Wright is a huge part of that. He’s definitely the best pro prospect from UT, and Anderson’s comments further validate that.