Wright, Rodrique ‘Rodzilla’

udut11 r wrightCards: Press Pass 2006, UT Upper Deck 2011
Acquired: 2/16/2013, IP Longhorn Neighborhood Foundation Bowling Tournament

The Longhorns signed Rodrique Wright in 2002 where he saw immediate action playing for Texas in 13 games, starting 9 of them  along the way. The mammoth defensive tackle (6’5″, 315) had 65 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 13 TFL in his Freshman campaign. 2003 shaped out to be Rod’s best season statistically for the Longhorns, with 80 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 12 TFL. In the game against Baylor that year, Rod posted 1.5 sacks and 11 tackles against the Bears. While statistically his 2004 and 2005 campaigns were not as impressive, he was tabbed 2nd team All-American his Junior season, and finished as a Lombardi Finalist and All-American in his final year at UT.  Wright completed his career at the University of Texas compiling 227 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 42 TFL, 6 FF, and 8 PD.

After his senior season with the Longhorns, it was revealed that Wright suffered from a torn rotator cuff. Despite being one ofpp06 wright the best defensive line prospects coming out of the 2006 draft, Rod faced serious rehabilitation from his debilitating injury. The Miami Dolphins took a flyer on him in the 7th round of the draft. The team placed him on injured reserve and he spent the entire season there. In his second season with Dolphins, he showed that dominance and power that the team was looking for when they drafted him. Spelling time on the line and at defensive end, Rod posted 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a pass defensed in 2007 during a brutal season for the Dolphins. Oddly enough, Wright found himself back out of the rotation in 2008, and he was inactive for all 16 games that season. The Dolphins cut him during camp in 2009. He got signed by the Jets in 2010, but was cut a few months later.

Wright quickly resurfaced in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and was thrown right into the fire with the team reeling from injuries at defensive tackle. By the time the next season rolled around, Wright had shed 20 pounds to play his position better, due to the demands of the wider field and open offensive system of the CFL. While fans were in love with his potential and his new found sense of direction, Wright was caught in a numbers game in the end, and did not make the squad in 2011. He is currently a free agent.

Rod was at Redd’s Haircutz celebrating the opening of Cory Redding’s new barbershop here in Austin along with Mark Henry and Rod Babers, while I was in the chair getting my haircut. It completely slipped my mind that I had a card of him, but I made up for it the next day at the Neighborhood Longhorn Bowling event when ‘Rodzilla’ showed up there for the Alumni Bowling event. I actually had 3 cards of him, but because he said he had never seen ANY of these cards before and got super excited, I let him have one of them for himself. He was quite thankful and signed the other two for me.