Dante Wright demands ‘the best of himself’ on, off the field

Junior Guerrero

It’s not every day you come across an incredible athlete on the football field and an incredible person off the field. True freshman wide receiver Dante Wright is the epitome of what it means to be a well-rounded athlete.

The Florida native began playing sports at the early age of 4 years old. He played soccer, basketball, baseball and, of course, football. Due to his amazing speed and competitiveness, Dante Wright dominated in every sport he played.

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“We noticed real early in sports that Dante (Wright) was very competitive and athletic,” his mother, Stacy Wright, said. “At about the age of 11 or 12, we noticed he was dominating every sport he was in. He had to be the best. … He demanded the best out of himself in sports and in school.”

It was clear that even at such a young age, Dante Wright was a very driven and competitive person. He wanted to be the best at everything, and more importantly, he did it without being cocky or arrogant. This stems from the lessons and teachings his parents passed onto him when he was growing up.

At about the age of 11 or 12, we noticed he was dominating every sport he was in. He had to be the best. … He demanded the best out of himself in sports and in school.”

Stacy Wright, Dante Wright’s mother

“As parents, we instilled responsibility, work ethic, obedience, honesty, sportsmanship, respect, humbleness and kindness,” Stacy Wright said. Dante Wright took these teachings to heart and applied them to his everyday life in his early teen years, both on and off the field.

This came to fruition when his mother received an email from Dante Wright’s gym teacher. The email explained what Dante Wright did while playing flag football in his seventh grade gym class.

“Just yesterday, Dante (Wright) was running for a touchdown when he turned to a teammate that has never scored a touchdown before and lateraled it to him to allow him to score,” his middle school gym teacher Jennifer Wells said.

“Dante (Wright) is truly an amazing athlete,” Wells said. “I have been teaching for 28 years, and it is such a pleasure to see not only the talents Dante (Wright) has but the character he displays daily.”

Dante Wright showed what it meant to not only be a great athlete, but how to be successful without letting it get to his head.

player runs.
Dante Wright (22) runs the ball toward the defense of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nov. 2. (Luke Bourland | The Collegian)

When Dante Wright began high school, his football career was elevated to the next level. Throughout his early days of playing football, Dante Wright always played quarterback. However, things changed in high school when he made the switch from throwing passes to catching them.

Dante Wright was such an electrifying player that he never left the field during games. His coaches would have him play receiver on offense and cornerback on defense. He also played a big factor on special teams. He would not only return punts and kicks; he would also kick field goals for his team. What couldn’t he do?

He was a scoring machine whenever the ball was in his hands. Dante Wright managed to score via receiving, throwing, rushing, field goals, extra points, returns and even a pick six on defense. Getting him the ball meant you were bound to score.

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With all his success that he had in high school, the next step in his athletic career was to play D1 football. Colorado State was one of the top few teams on his list. Dante Wright and his family felt like the Rams could offer the right opportunity for him.

“We followed CSU a little early on in his recruiting process, mainly paying close attention to their receiving stats,” Stacy Wright said. “We felt they were a good fit for him as a receiver. Once we visited, we knew CSU was the place for Dante (Wright). We also reached out to several relationships we formed in the recruiting world over the past few years, and they all agreed that CSU was a great fit for Dante (Wright). … So we prayed about it for several days as a family and made the decision.”

Dante Wright is a special talent, and it didn’t take long for people to take notice. In his first career collegiate game against rival University of Colorado Boulder, Dante Wright was nothing short of spectacular. He managed to catch four balls for 72 yards and a touchdown while also recording a 41-yard rushing touchdown. Dante Wright showed that the stage wasn’t too big for him and that he was completely capable of handling the pressure.

“I told him before the game to be Dante (Wright); you don’t have to be anyone else,” quarterback Collin Hill said. “All night he did a great job. To be a true freshman on this stage, … he performed really well, and I think he’s going to have a really, really good career. Dante (Wright) is a great dude, but a really special player as well.”

Receiving acknowledgment from the third-year quarterback was his first step in fulfilling his role as a CSU Ram. It wasn’t long until Head Coach Mike Bobo took notice as well after their 38-13 victory over Western Illinois.

“When number 22 Dante Wright got on campus, that changed some things,” Bobo said. “He gives us a weapon to be able to run some fly sweeps and some quick screens.” 

The crowd cheers as Dante Wright (22) scores on Western Illinois University during CSU's first home game of the season. CSU wins 38-13
The crowd cheers as Dante Wright (22) scores on Western Illinois University during Colorado State University’s first home game of the season, Sept. 7. CSU won 38-13. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

Dante Wright was able to make an immediate impact on the Rams offense: a large enough impact that he found himself on the FWAA Midseason Freshman All-American Watch List. This a great achievement for anyone, especially a true freshman.

“What you’re seeing him do here now at Colorado State, he did on his high school field,” Bobo said. “Sometimes you get caught up in size and how big they are, but a football player is a football player.”

“He doesn’t really say a word; he just comes out and goes to work and busts his tail every day at practice,” Bobo said. “He goes nonstop and wants to do what he can do to help the football team.”

Dante Wright is perceived very highly by his teammates. They know what kind of talent he is, and more importantly, what kind of person he is.

“Dante (Wright) is a cool guy,” defensive tackle Ellison Hubbard said. “He doesn’t say much, and he’s a freshman still finding his way. He’s cool to hang out with, and his work ethic is awesome. He goes straight to work and gives everything he has on that field at practice. … That’s a cool little freshman we got over there.”

Receiving acknowledgment from his upperclassmen teammates shows what kind of player and person he is on and off the field. Dante Wright is currently having a great first season with the Rams. He has a total of 845 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns on the season.

The scary part is that Dante Wright is only going to get better from here on out. Dante Wright’s talent and athleticism might get him to the NFL if he chooses to pursue a football career, but his work ethic, humbleness and kindness will take him anywhere he wants to go in life.

Junior Guerrero can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @juniorg45.