Former Florida Gators safety Major Wright is on the cusp of beginning his rookie campaign with the Chicago Bears. Selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Wright has been preparing each day since being picked to take the field for training camp and show both his coaches and Bears fans that he is capable of making an impact right away. OGGOA caught up with Wright before a scheduled appearance he had signing autographs in West Palm Beach, FL. He spoke with us about a variety of topics including his time at Florida, the future of the Gators program and what he hopes to accomplish right away as a professional in the NFL.
ADAM SILVERSTEIN: What kind of advice would you give to a high school recruit about to make a college decision, perhaps one considering Florida?
MAJOR WRIGHT: “At Florida, you know, they recruit the best athletes. So, if they recruit you, you’re obviously one of the best athletes out there. Stay focused, maintain what you are doing and always work hard and things are going to happen for you. Especially at the University of Florida – the best talent, the best coaching, the best facilities. That’s where kids want to be at these days.”
AS: How hard was it for you to make the adjustment from high school to college?
MW: “It was pretty hard. Being that you’re coming from high school to college. With me, I went to St. Thomas Aquinas – a well-known program that has great coaching. With my coaching and the speed of the game, it’s a lot different from high school to college. It’s a hard [transition], but I made it and went on with it.”
AS: Ahmad Black and Will Hill are still left, trying to hold down the back end of the secondary. How do you think they are going to play next year?
MW: “They’re going to be great. Me playing with them, those are definitely some focused guys. They know what they’re doing. Ahmad Black and Will Hill [are] definitely [going to] be like one of the two best tandems in college football.”
Read the rest of our interview with Major Wright…after the break!
AS: Did you get a chance to check out any of the younger guys at spring camp?
MW: “I didn’t really get a chance to focus on them, watch them. I was going up there, working out for teams, staying focused on Major.”
AS: How tough of a decision was it for you to leave?
MW: “Pretty tough. You don’t want to leave college like that. But it was my decision. It was the projection. Me and my family sat down and had a talk and just went with that.”
AS: How do you like Chicago so far?
MW: “I’ve only been there once – and that was for mini camp. I didn’t really go out, do anything. My main focus was to go out there, impress the coaches and do everything they tell me to do.”
AS: Did you get the living situation locked down yet?
MW: “No, not yet. I don’t have anything, I don’t know anything, they had us just stay in the hotel. I’m going back Sunday – leave tomorrow – ready to go up there and start my new life.”
AS: There are a lot of expectations for you to come in and start right away. Do you have any preference in regards to playing strong or free safety?
MW: “It don’t matter. Right now, my main focus is go on the team and help them by all means. Special teams, scout team if they need – just go in and make my mark somewhere.”
AS: Are you looking forward to hitting Percy [Harvin] coming across the middle? You’re going to be playing him twice a year at least since he’s on the Minnesota Vikings.
MW: “[Laughing] I’m not looking forward to it. But if it’s part of the game, that’s what’s going to happen.”
Other topics discussed:
On how he thinks Florida will do this upcoming season: “They’ll be pretty good. They got a lot of young guys, will do a lot of good things. They are under the radar right now. With Urban Meyer being the coach, anything is possible.”
On how surprised he was about Meyer’s resignation and how he thinks he is doing right now: “When he first announced that he was about to leave, everybody was kind of shocked. Like, ‘Oh my god, what’s going on?’ But [he] told us it was a health issue. Everyone kind of pulled back and let him be Urban Meyer. Great coach. The best I played with. He knows everything he’s doing.”
On what helps Meyer bond so well with players: “Not just on the field – off the field. He treats you like you’re his son. He’s there for you. He’s got you.”
On what he thinks about Percy Harvin: “Great player and great person. Him playing with me and me playing with him – it was great playing with Percy Harvin. He’s a great player and a great person. It’s pretty hard to match up with the talent he got.”
On if he hopes to face Brett Favre: “He’s the greatest, so I want to play against the greatest.”
On the circus surrounding Tim Tebow leading up to the draft: “Tebow, you know, he’s definitely a great person. I didn’t follow [the hysteria], I was basically focusing on Major Wright, going out, showing people what I can do – what I’m capable of.”
On what he would tell college athletes to focus on going into college: “One, I would say just focus and time management. That’s one of the biggest things. A freshman come[s] in, they think they have all this free time, and they really don’t. When there is school, practice, studying then back to school. A lot of people lose focus of that, and that’s how they get side tracked.”
On how one can best manage their time: “Stay in the books. Listen to [the coaches]. And don’t try to party as much. There’s always time for that. Just go in, make your mark and then you can sit back and relax and say, ‘I did this and I did that.’ Then you can go out and party.”
On whether or not he is dreading the cold weather: “I’m looking forward to it. They say it’s cold, so I want to see how cold it get.”
On what he’s looking forward to most in the NFL: “It’s a lot of things…I would say just…I don’t know. Basically just playing on this level, it’s my dream. So it’s coming true. Playing with the best athletes ever.”
On what he thinks of Mike Martz’s offense: “It’s crazy. Haven’t [seen anything like that].”
On playing with guys like Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher in front of him: “A great opportunity for me to make plays. I know those guys definitely going to do their jobs. So I have to go out and do mine.”
On the future of the Gators program: “Definitely be a great program. Urban Meyer won’t let it go down. He’s one of the greatest coaches in college football right now. He won’t let that go down.”
On the difference between playing secondary in college and the NFL: “The speed. You one step too late, one inch too late things are going to happen. So you basically have to know your job more than ever. You have to study film, study the athletes that you are going against and just basically just know your job well so you can play 100 MPH.
On what he worked on in the offseason: “Me coming out my breaks a lot quicker, me reading the quarterbacks better. You know the quarterbacks on this level are definitely great. Me just focusing on that and, I mean, things are going to happen.”
On if he is excited to play any teams in particular: “I haven’t circled any teams. I’m just going out there to make plays.”
On how Tebow will do in NFL: “Great. He’s going to do pretty good. The things that he do, the student of the game that he is – he’s going to make things happen.”
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