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9 DAYS TO 2021 KICKOFF: Jacardia Wright

In which BracketCat counts down the ninth day until the 2021 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State running back Jacardia Wright.

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#9 Jacardia Wright
For whatever reason, sophomore running back Jacardia Wright (9) took a step back in 2020 after his scintillating performance against Iowa State in 2019. Here’s hoping he breaks out bigtime in 2021!
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

Goal No. 9: ELIMINATE MISTAKES. Don’t beat yourself.

#9 Jacardia Wright

Redshirt Sophomore | 6-0 | 220 lbs. | Decatur, Illinois
Jacardia Wright
Jacardia Wright
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Running Back
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Second-String
  • Status: On Scholarship

Jacardia Wright (b. Sept. 9, 2000) is an big, physical running back from St. Teresa High School in Decatur, Illinois, who surprised many by rushing quite capably as a true freshman.

Wright saw time in three games in 2019 as he preserved his redshirt for the season, and he finished the year with 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, several of which were nifty.

He helped the Wildcats to earn a victory in the regular-season finale against Iowa State with a career-high 60 rushing yards, including a 12-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Wright also rushed a season-high 14 times against Bowling Green before suffering an injury and missing most of the early to mid-season, otherwise he might not have redshirted at all.

The pandemic-shortened 2020 season was somewhat of a disappointment, then, as he played in just four games, rushing for a mere 17 yards on six carries. Wright, who is majoring in sociology, tallied a season-high 12 yards on three attempts against Texas Tech.

It is widely speculated that injuries and/or COVID-19 might have contributed to this decline in production. All accounts are that Wright is at full strength entering 2021, however, and he should function as the “thunder” to Deuce Vaughn’s “lightning” and his primary backup.

He prepped under head coach Mark Ramsey at St. Teresa, where he was rated the 119th-best athlete in the Class of 2019 by 247Sports, while ESPN viewed him as the 107th-best safety and 35th-best player in the state of Illinois.

Wright rushed for 8,821 yards and 133 touchdowns during his career, both ranking as the second-best mark in Illinois high school football history, and garnered three straight Macon County Football Player of the Year honors from the Herald & Review — only the second player ever to earn that honor.

He was named to the USA TODAY Sports/American Family Insurance All-Illinois first team as a defensive back in 2018, while he was a second-team honoree as a running back in 2017.

Wright chose K-State over offers from Central Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Purdue and Western Michigan, as well as interest from Illinois, Indiana, Memphis and Michigan. His lead recruiter was running backs coach Brian Anderson.