MORGANTOWN - One of the biggest uncertainties of West Virginia's preseason has been secured, but questions still surround the starting nose guard.
Jorge Wright, who Tuesday was confirmed as the starting nose guard when No. 24 WVU opens the season Sunday at home against Marshall, seeks to answer those with his play. He wants no other resolution.
The junior from Miami was arrested in April and charged with misdemeanors for carrying a deadly weapon without a license and possession of a controlled substance. The case is still pending trial, or a resolution before it, and Wright declines to speak directly about what is still an ongoing situation.
He'd rather prove that he's grown and contrite on the field and worthy of the chance to restore his career.
"Football is my sport," he said. "That's what I like to think about. Besides school, all I want to do is keep getting better and keep becoming a better football player this year."
The future was never guaranteed for Wright. He played in the spring game the day after the arrest, even though former Coach Bill Stewart knew about the incident. Wright was then indefinitely suspended and prohibited from all things related to WVU football.
That meant the offseason workouts, the skill development and the conditioning sessions were off limits. He was alone and left to his own designs for those things, which are necessities when you're being asked to play that critical position in the middle of the defensive line.
"I had to get in shape and keep my weight up like I had been doing and keep working on my technique like I had been doing throughout the spring," said Wright, who surged to first team nose guard throughout spring practice.
Coach Dana Holgorsen took over managing Wright's suspension when he took the team over in June. He met with people on both sides of the case and developed an understanding of the situation.
By the end of July, he felt comfortable enough to reinstate Wright and allow him back to practice when it began Aug. 5.
That was no end for Wright, though. It was a beginning.
"I think I worked very hard this offseason, but there were little issues I had with my weight and everything like that, just getting my weight up to where I need to and getting stronger and faster," he said.
When Wright came back, he was welcomed back. His teammates, he said, were like brothers. Many had been supportive when he was made to stay away, but everyone was ready to hurry him back into the mix. The Mountaineers were really going to miss Chris Neild in the middle.
"I could never be Chris Neild," Wright said. "I just have to be Jorge and keep getting better."