Scooby Wright III has been proving doubters wrong since he was in high school.
Coaches from Cal and Washington told him he wasn’t good enough to play in the Pac-12, and the Arizona Wildcats were his only Division I offer.
That worked out OK.
Wright ended up being a unanimous All-American, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and swept the defensive award circuit winning the Bednarik, Nagurski and Lombardi awards in his sophomore season.
He battled through injuries his junior season before declaring for the NFL Draft. Once a projected a third to fourth round pick, Wright fell all the way to the Cleveland Browns in the seventh round at pick 250, fourth to last in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He was later cut by the Browns, and signed by the Arizona Cardinals, where he immediately contributed to the special teams units.
Now in his second year as a professional, Wright has been thriving at Cardinals training camp. For now, he is listed as the No. 2 money linebacker, behind first round pick Haason Reddick. Deone Bucannon, the bonafide starter, is on the physically unable to perform list, coming off an ankle surgery in May.
Wright has quickly taken advantage of Bucannon’s absence and become one of the notable playmakers on the Cardinals’ defense.
“He had a hell of a spring,” head coach Bruce Arians said of Wright. “If he’d just quit tackling them wide receivers and tight ends going over the middle. He’s very aggressive. He has a knack to play the linebacker position. He’s trimmed down. It’s going to be a big camp for him.”
After deciding to leave Arizona a year early, Wright has also been taking classes at the UA to earn his economy and industry degree.