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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Freshman LB James Wright leaving KU football via transfer portal

Former Kansas football linebacker James Wright

Former Kansas football linebacker James Wright

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After six months with the Kansas football program, freshman linebacker James Wright is moving on. Wright announced on Wednesday his decision to put his name in the transfer portal.

In a note Wright posted to Twitter, he thanked head coach Lance Leipold and the KU staff, and called his experience with the Jayhawks “nothing less than amazing.”

Wright wrote that after “a lot of talks with family and loved ones, I believe it’s in my best interest to enter the transfer portal with four years of eligibility remaining.”

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds on KU’s roster, Wright didn’t appear in any games for the Jayhawks this year, which will allow him to arrive at his next stop as a redshirt freshman.

A three-star prospect in KU’s 2021 signing class, Wright had more than 20 offers as a high school player coming out of Sumter, South Carolina, but KU was the only Power Five program in the bunch. Wright had been committed to East Carolina, prior to signing with KU.

Jordan Peterson, a safeties coach working for then-KU head coach Les Miles, recruited Wright. Peterson was retained by Leipold, and after spending the past several months as a senior analyst was recently promoted to be KU’s defensive backs coach.

Wright became the second KU player to enter the transfer portal — defensive end Steven Parker was the first — since Leipold’s first season with the Jayhawks (2-10 overall, 1-8 Big 12) concluded on Nov. 27.

Since the start of preseason camp, KU has now seen five players exit via the portal: Wright, Parker, walk-on receiver Jordan Brown, running back Velton Gardner and reserve offensive lineman Garrett Jones.

None by James R. Wright

Comments

Joseph Bullock 8 months, 1 week ago

See ya! We want people who want to be Ajayhawks-not people who think things should be handed to them!

Dennis Mahorney 8 months, 1 week ago

I think he was very gracious. No need to imagine that he thinks things will be handed to him anywhere. He is doing what he thinks is best for him. I wish him the best wherever he goes.

Bville Hawk 8 months, 1 week ago

Good luck, James, wherever your dreams take you.

Dirk Medema 8 months, 1 week ago

Apparently a typo, but “a” at the beginning of a word means not, as in asymmetrical = not symmetrical. 😜

John Strayer 8 months, 1 week ago

Exactly my point in how much harder the transfer portal is foing to make this turn around even that much more difficult. Can't make a progress when you start over with unproven talent every year. I don't expect these departures to be the last either.

Andy Godwin 8 months, 1 week ago

Everyone should wish Mr. Wright good luck at his next stop. He was not recruited by coach Leipold and had a year to understand how this current football program will be run and how he might or might not benefit from remaining a Jayhawk. One must also remember that coaches at time suggest that players look elsewhere (will not renew their scholarships). If you recall, coach Self asked some players to leave so he could recruit both players from high school and established free agents to help rebuilt this year’s current team. The transfer portal and NIL has change college athletics forever. Not necessarily in a good way based on the original intent of providing a student with athletic abilities to gain a free education. College athletics, primarily men’s football and basketball has become a revenue generating vehicle, which is essential to help fund many of the non-revenue generating college sports. And by the way good luck to the Lady Jayhawks against Pitt today in the sweet 16. Coach Leipold will need to re-recruit current Jayhawks he wants to stay and look for talent via the portal, junior college, and high school to rebuild this program. Rock Chalk.

Dirk Medema 8 months, 1 week ago

Part of the culture change that Coach Leipold has been promoting since day one is the mindset to push hard, to grind for the extra yard that gets a first down to keep drives going instead of punting. That needs to be everyone on the team whether on the field or not. That means a player needs to be wholeheartedly committed to the development of the team. If a player isn’t wholeheartedly committed, the team is better off with them moving on and making room for Jared and other players that are wholeheartedly committed. It’s better for the player and team.

It was also only a few years ago when a significant portion of the fan community was commenting that players should have the same freedom as coaches to change schools. Sometimes the consequences of decisions are not nearly as nice as the proposed freedoms.

Edward Daub 8 months, 1 week ago

Wright or Wrong, James has made his decision. Rock Chalk!

David Robinett 8 months, 1 week ago

I did look up the Transfer Portal rules, and apparently kids only get ONE transfer without having to sit out one year. If they transfer again, I think they DO have to sit out a year like before.

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