HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Darnell Wright, the five-star offensive tackle from Huntington High School, likes the tune of “Rocky Top” more than “Country Roads.”
Wright signed Wednesday with Tennessee despite a late push from recently hired West Virginia coach Neal Brown and his staff to sway..
“Coach Neal Brown and their staff do a lot of good things and have a good program. I like them,” Wright said at his signing ceremony. “They were some of the coaches that I felt treated me like a normal person throughout the whole deal. I took a liking to them for that.”
The No. 16-rated player overall by Rivals in the 2019 recruiting class, Wright was listed as the No. 2 offensive tackle prospect.
Wright choose the Volunteers, while he was also thought to be considering Alabama and North Carolina up until Wednesday.
“It was a lot of points — I wouldn’t say it was one thing,” he said of choosing Tennessee. “One big thing would be just the coaches and the relationship with everyone and how they treated me as a person more than football.”
Wright rarely granted interviews during his high-profile recruitment.
“I wish we could’ve just got it over with sooner than this. But it’s over finally,” he said.
Tennessee second-year coach Jeremy Pruitt touted Wright’s agility, describing him as a 330-pounder who moves like he weighs 310.
“Darnell is a guy that’s a big, powerful man that can play any of the five spots on the offensive line,” Pruitt said.
Wright is thought to be an immediate contributor at the next level. He had offers from 20 Division I schools, including some of college football’s most prestigious programs such as Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State.
“It feels really good. I’m going to be able to compete against good players in the SEC,” Wright said. “This is finally behind me and all over with, so I’m happy.”