- Name: Tomas Wright
- Height: 6’3
- Weight: 240
- Position: Defensive End
- College: Bryant University
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
• I was born and raised in Saint Augustine, Florida. Saint Augustine is known as The Ancient City because it was founded by the Spanish in 1565, which makes it the oldest city in the United States. It is in Northeast Florida, about 30 minutes south of Jacksonville and 1 hour and 30 minutes north of Orlando. Saint Augustine is recognized worldwide for its historic downtown district and its many beautiful beaches. What I love most about Saint Augustine is the people who helped me become the man I am today. I have met so many loving people growing up in Saint Augustine who has made such a positive impact on my life.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice? 1. Strength and Conditioning2. Practice3. Film Study• The reason why I have it in this order is that Strength and Conditioning is the foundation for becoming a great player. I learned as a freshman at Saint Augustine High School that the weight room is where you learn how to push yourself mentally and physically to reach your full potential as an athlete. The practice is a place where you transfer the hard work you put in the weight room on to the field. Also, it’s essential that you correct mistakes and practicing techniques to the best of your ability. Film study is a necessity for becoming a great player. This is where mistakes from practice and games are broken down and explained. This is what separates good players from great players because you must take these mistakes and correct them on the field so that it doesn’t happen in the next game.
What do you worry about, and why?
• I worry about being the best version of myself. You cannot play football forever and there is life after football. I want to make sure that I am in the best position to succeed in this world after I graduate college. This means I must have a good understanding of my strengths and weaknesses and build on them every day because it will help me achieve those goals that I have set for myself.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
• I have failed many times because failure is a life experience that everyone has gone through. My most recent example of me failing/struggling at something was a winter course this January. I failed my first test and was having difficulty keeping up with the assignments. My reaction to this was I needed to do something quickly to turn this around because the course is condensed from a full semester into 5 weeks. I overcame this by going to my academic adviser Sue Pressler. Mrs. P went out of her busy schedule to put in extra hours just to help me create a plan to follow in order to succeed in the class. I finished that course with an A! Big shout out to Ms. P for being one of the best at what she does. That was a valuable moment that taught me to fight through adversity.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
• My determination. I always joke around with them and say, “I always get what I want.” They know when I put my mind on accomplishing a goal I have set for myself, I will not stop until I have achieved just that.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
• This is a hard one because I have played against a lot of talented players during my three years of playing college football. I would have to go with Ryan Fulse, running back from Wagner University. That guy was unbelievable on the field with his combination of speed and power. I haven’t seen any other running back who was able to make cuts at a high speed like him. Last season he ran for 1,782 yards and 12 touchdowns, which explains why he was an AP First Team All-American.
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
• I declared to be a Human Resource Major. I like the idea of helping people come up with the best solution for their issues. This Summer I have an HR internship in Boston with a global software company called PTC. I am looking forward to this new experience and preparing myself for life after football.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
• The room must be the first one to get cleaned. Having a clean room just starts the day off right for me. The car is next because there’s going to be a time throughout the day where I will be driving somewhere, so I don’t want to be in a car that smells like a locker room while I’m driving to wherever I need to go. My desk is last because I do homework either in the library or a random classroom.
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
• Family member
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
• I would have to go with Spiderman. The idea of being a superhero with superhuman abilities is cool. I choose Spiderman from other superheroes because he is close to me in age, doesn’t kill his enemies, and he has the most fun out of being a hero.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
• My biggest adversity in life was when I tore my PCL and MCL halfway during my senior season in high school. I say this because it was my first year as a full-time starter for Saint Augustine High School which is recognized as a Florida powerhouse school. Nothing was handed to me during my time playing football there. I had to put in years of hard work, dedication, and commitment to earn that starting spot. That injury cost me the rest of the season and it blinded my view on college football. Colleges who were recruiting me began cutting off contact and I was devastated because I never had a serious injury like that. For a few weeks, I distanced myself from family and friends because I was so devastated, I was scared because my dream of playing college football was uncertain due to this injury. I was faced with two choices: Give up or go harder. I decided to go harder. I became hungrier than I ever was to get stronger and to get back on that field in order to achieve my goal. That led me to do a post-graduate year at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston, Pennsylvania. This was one of the best decisions of my life because it gave me an extra year to provide more game film to scouts, get stronger and recover from my knee injury, get comfortable living away from home, and creating genuine relationships with people who I will never forget.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
• One of my most embarrassing moments was during a presentation for a group project during my freshman year of college. It was for my Global foundation of business class and we had to present a product that we created to judges. During the presentation, my mind went blank suddenly and I forgot the lines that I had practiced for days for that very moment. If my face could turn red, it would have been as red as an apple.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
• This is a no brainer for me. The most memorable play of my collegiate career was getting a strip sack on first down against Robert Morris with 2:56 seconds left in the fourth quarter. It felt like something straight out of a movie because it was our first conference game of the season and obviously playing against a conference opponent, there is a lot on the line. The crowd was going crazy and as a defense, we knew that we had to stop them from scoring because we were winning by three points. I remember very vividly quieting all the noise around me and just thinking to myself go get the quarterback. I got a great burst off the ball and quickly turned the corner using a long arm rip move on the tackle which led me to get a great hit on the quarterback which caused him to fumble.
What song best describes your work ethic?
• 0 To 100/ The Catch Up by Drake. There is a line in the song that says, “Oh Lord, know yourself, know your worth, my actions been louder than my words.” The song talks about believing in yourself even when things are not looking good at a certain moment, and your goals may appear to be out of reach, however, you must continue to pursue excellence and never give up. That’s very relatable to my work ethic because you can be high one moment and the next you are low, but you must continue to put your head down and work even when times are looking so good.
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
• This is a tough one, but I believe the most important trait I can have to help me succeed at the next level is my development physically. The average size of NFL offensive linemen is 6’5 312 pounds. This means they are significantly stronger and more powerful than lineman in college. In order to go neck and neck with them, I must put on weight and get as strong as I physically can to make plays.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
• It would be Martin Luther King Jr. The reason why is because I would want him to share his wisdom with me. Also, I would ask him questions on how to help my generation with the issues we face on a day to day basis.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
• I would name the dance club Shneezy Nation and it would be run by my teammate Darnell Grant from Newark, New Jersey. Darnell is a great dancer and he keeps up with all the new music and dances.
Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
• The most underrated player in the NFL is JuJu Smith-Schuster. He is one of the best young receivers in the game and I believe his talent was overshadowed because of superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
• I would rather be respected because you can be liked for the wrong reasons by other people. Being liked can fade away at any moment, while respect lasts forever. Respect has a greater impact on how others view you as a person.
What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
• I would probably say Johnny Manziel. The reason I say him is because I watched him play and I saw him do things that I have never seen any other player do before. He had so much promise, however, I believe he surrounded himself with yes-men instead of those who would be a positive influence.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
• I hate to lose because it makes me feel like all the work I put in to win went to waste. Also, the goal is to win because no one wants to be in second place.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
• There is not one person who has had the biggest influence on my life. My immediate family, friends, and parents of my friends have all impacted me as an individual. They have all taught me how to be a better person. Also, they have never given up on me when times were hard, and they have remained by my side through thick and thin. I wish I could give all of them a shout out to tell them how much I appreciate them, but they know who they are. The experiences I have learned from each one of them has played a role in my success so far.