Our scouting report series on Virginia Tech's 2020 recruiting class continues with three-star WR Dallan Wright, VT's lone February signee out of high school. Below are the players that we have already covered in this series of scouting reports.
After the surprise transfer of Jacoby Pinckney, Virginia Tech reevaluated the 2020 wide receiver talent pool and quickly focused in on three-star WR Dallan Wright as their top target. It didn't take long for Tech to get the job done as they hosted him on an official visit the weekend before National Signing Day with Wright committing to the Hokies the Sunday before.
Wright's late emergence isn't surprising given his impressive senior season where he was one of the most underrated high school receivers in the country. Wright's huge numbers back that claim up as he had 87 receptions for 1,508 yards and 25 touchdowns, averaging 17.3 yards per reception. Wright also got involved in the rushing attack some with 11 carries for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns.
However, what may be more impressive is his highlight tape.
It doesn't take long to see why Virginia Tech was quick to make a big push for Dallan Wright. All around, there may not be a highlight tape that is more impressive among the Hokies' high school and JUCO offensive skill position signees than Wright's.
Wright brings a good amount of explosiveness plus great top end speed that makes him a big play threat. More importantly, Wright can find that second gear to go into his actual route after faking an initial route to create lots of space and make it an easier pass for a big play.
One thing that Virginia Tech has turned to plenty with their receivers in the past are the 50-50 balls especially in the redzone. The tape shows how well Wright would fit in that role as while he has good size, he more importantly is extremely impressive on jump balls with great timing and hand-eye coordination. Wright also shows plenty of toughness consistently giving the max effort that is required to consistently win those 50-50 balls.
Wright also shows good vision once he gets the ball in his hands especially off bubble screens and other plays like that. There are multiple times where Wright sees the gap that many players wouldn't likely have find while having the speed to take advantage of it and turn what would be a short gain for many into a big play.
Those are two areas where his basketball background appears to be helping what he can do on the football field. The first may be obvious as being a good rebounder and having good hand-eye coordination is extremely important. Additionally, Wright is a guard and as such, is likely used to having to manipulate space to find ways to attack the rim.
While no one is trying to tackle him on the basketball court, being able to manipulate space is something that translates well not only on the football field but also in a Virginia Tech offense that loves to try to get their playmaking receivers in space and allow them to manipulate it to create big plays.
Like most high school wide receivers, Wright has plenty of room to grow as a route runner, but there are definitely plays where you can see some refinement. Whether it's faking a slant before going to a short out route or manipulating a defensive back effectively on a go route to create space for the big play over the top, Wright shows route running refinement that isn't very common for a receiver of his age at times.
One area that we don't see a lot in his highlight tape is Wright blocking. While Wright does has some room to grow, he does have the type of work ethic and motor that will do him well blocking as a receiver as he shows with his blocking both on offense and special teams.
Now one question that gets raised is the level of competition as Wright competed at one of the lower levels in South Carolina. However, it's hard to watch that tape and think that Wright doesn't have the potential to not only make an impact early in his collegiate career, but also has high-end starting potential down the road.
In some ways, Wright's tape is reminiscent of Caleb Farley coming out of high school. Now Wright and Farley did not play the same position in high school with Farley playing QB, but both players were dynamic playmakers who dominated the competition he faced by a significant margin. Now Wright may not be as great of an athlete as Farley was, though few are, but Wright is a natural playmaker who plays with a high motor, the combination of skills that make it hard to imagine him being a bust of any sorts.
Sometimes, last minute additions have low floors with a small path to a high ceiling. Dallan Wright is the exact opposite as a high floor player who could earn playing time as a true freshman, and develop into a high-end starting wide receiver during his time at Virginia Tech.
The fact that the Hokies were able to find a gem recruit like Wright this late in the cycle is extremely impressive and in a 2020 cycle full of fan frustration, Wright has the potential to destroy much of that frustration quickly.