Alabama went light on the DB class this year, but when they did pull trigger, the Tide signed two versatile safeties with the range to also play corner. The 6’1” 187-pound Daniel Wright from Ft. Lauderdale joins Xavier McKinney in that regard.
Wright is listed as a four-star and “just” the 16th best safety in the 2017 class, but coaches see something that the recruiting services are not: Almost every team in the SEC, half the Big Ten, half the ACC, Notre Dame, and select P12 and B12 schools all offered him. However, of the nearly 40 offers Daniel racked up, he took just two official visits — to Tuscaloosa and Miami. Even then, it was not a done deal: Florida State competed hard for Wright. In fact, Wright had originally committed to the ‘Noles before flipping to the Tide early in December.
Like McKinney, Wright is a hitter with excellent ball skills. He does an excellent job tracking the ball and making plays. He is not the fastest DB out there (4.71 actual,) but Daniel makes up for it with his coverage skills, good closing speed, excellent footwork and fluid hips. He does not very often look as though he’s trying to find the ball — he knows where it is.
There is very good news on the punt return front: As Coach Saban loves to emphasize, so much of being a good punt returner is not just fearlessness and good decision-making, it’s whether the guy is comfortable back there and can field the ball. I would not be surprised one bit to see Daniel returning punts next season as he works into the DB and special teams rotation: he is very comfortable and competent as a PR specialist. His game speed and setting up blockers are an asset.
The general knack on him is his size: he is a bit light for safety. But Scott Cochran will put some meat on those bones. The other thing I noticed that I’ve not seen on scouting reports is his vision. While he does a good job of tracking receivers and reading run/pass, he will probably need to improve reading the quarterback so as to play more aggressively.
Roll Tide, Daniel