Freshman LB James Wright leaving KU football via transfer portal

Former Kansas football linebacker James Wright

Former Kansas football linebacker James Wright

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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.