Darnell Wright wasn’t giving any new hints about his eventual college destination.
The nation’s No. 1-ranked offensive tackle and one of the nation’s top uncommitted players said during interviews at the Under Armour All-Star Game in Orlando, Florida, that he plans to make his college decision on Feb. 6, the traditional National Signing Day and declined to say if he’s eliminated any of the 10 schools he identified as finalists last summer.
As what will ultimately influence his final decision, Wright said he’s looking for a coaching staff that provides mentoring.
“The coaches, I know they have a job — that’s how they feed their family — but they can also be a coach and a mentor. Just looking for guys like that,” Wright said
A reporter asked the obvious follow-up: Which coaches seem the best at mentoring so far? He identified just one, Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key.
“I think Coach Key,” said Wright, a 5-star prospect from Huntington, West Virginia. “He’s a pretty down-to-earth guy. He talks about a lot of stuff, not just recruiting, or Alabama or anything.”
Tennessee and Alabama appear to be two of Wright’s top contenders. He also said North Carolina has made a recent push after the hiring of Mack Brown as head coach. Other schools on his top 10 include Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, Southern Cal, Miami, Penn State and Florida State.
Wright is ranked as the No. 10 overall prospect and No. 1 offensive lineman, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. If he signed with Alabama, he’s be the second highest-ranked player in the Tide’s No. 1-ranked Class of 2019 behind running back Trey Sanders.
Wright said he’ll likely schedule official visits to West Virginia and North Carolina in January, but his other three allowed official visits under NCAA rules have not been scheduled.
Alabama signed 23 players during college football’s early signing period, including four offensive linemen — Hewitt-Trussville’s Pierce Quick, Thompson’s Amari Kight, IMG Academy (Fla.)’s Evan Neal, Glasgow (Ken.)’s Tanner Bowles and center Darrian Dalcourt, from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wright is projected to play left tackle, and Alabama could lose left tackle Jonah Williams to the NFL as an early entry. Kight and Neal — both expected to be early enrollees — are also candidates to play left tackle in college.
“I won’t be coming in, in the spring, so whoever has that position will have a jump on me,” Wright said. “I’m not really scared to compete. I know my abilities.”
Wright hasn’t given away much information about his recruitment and showed a chill demeanor during interviews at The Opening 2018 in Frisco, Texas last summer and again at the Under Armour check-in in Orlando.
“I don’t really take things serious a lot,” he said. “I take things serious when it’s a serious matter, but some things to most people just doesn’t matter to me. I guess I’m just a different person.”