In Focus: Home Sweet Home
James Wright Cherishes the LSU Community
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the sun has found its home in the western sky. It is now Saturday night in Tiger Stadium… Here come your Fighting Tigers of LSU!”
These are the famous words of Tiger Stadium’s PA announcer Dan Borne’ that make a crowd of 90,000 people on a Saturday night in Death Valley stand on their feet and roar.
Senior wide receiver James Wright knows exactly where he belongs on Saturday nights – Death Valley. The Belle Chasse, La., native considers LSU his second home and the Tiger Football team his second family.
“LSU is like a home away from home for me,” Wright said. “When I came on my first visit, I got the feeling of home right away. Now I’ve been here so long that I feel like LSU is my home. It just happened, and it worked. ”
Home is not home without family and friends. The players spend hours together going to classes, analyzing film, practicing plays, training in the weight room and participating in community service. Throughout his four years at LSU, Wright has created special relationships with his teammates and coaches.
“I consider this football team my second family,” he said. “When a couple years go by, you realize you spend more time with them than your actual family. I have created lifetime bonds with these players and these coaches. Kadron (Boone) came in at the same time as I did. I have been around Odell (Beckham Jr.) and Jarvis (Landry) for a while too. We are a big family and the bonds I have created are really special.”
The bonds between Wright and his teammates carry onto the football field. Each person serves a special role on the team to help the Tigers maintain a successful program. As a senior and a leader, Wright reminds his team to get the job done, but to have fun while doing it.
“The guys before me taught me to have fun, especially (former LSU player) Russell (Shepard),” Wright said. “He had fun, but he also got it done, too. He taught me how to balance the work side and the fun side. Now I remind these guys to have fun. This time will go by fast and you have to take advantage of this opportunity and have fun while doing it.”
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Wright leads the team with advice that he learned from the veterans before him, but his actions speak louder than his words. The senior leader brings a positive attitude and special energy to his team every practice and every game, no matter the situation.
“My role on this team is to help us every possible time we step on the field, whether it is making a block or playing special teams,” he said. “I always try to stay positive and bring some kind of energy to the team.”
This season, Wright is bringing plenty of energy to LSU’s special teams. The talented senior opened up the year with a spectacular play against TCU when he stripped the ball from kickoff returner Brandon Carter and recovered on TCU’s 10-yard line.
“It felt good to start my senior season off like that,” Wright said. “I was just trying to get to the ball. I saw the ball and saw the opportunity, and I just made the most of it.”
Wright stepped into his role this season and leads LSU in special teams tackles. So far, he has recorded eight total tackles, a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
“I just want to look back and say that I gave my team everything I had,” he said. “I want to be able to say I gave it my all.”
Not only do Wright and the Tigers take extreme pride in winning and playing their best week in and week out, but they also take pride in giving back to the LSU community. Members of LSU’s football team participate in a variety of community service projects such as reading in schools, visiting nursing homes and visiting the hospital pediatric ward.
“The LSU community is all we have,” Wright said. “If there is no community, there is no LSU football or LSU fan base. Everybody is a part of this LSU football team, and it’s important to us to give back to the LSU community.”
The community and fan support is what makes LSU home away from home for Wright. The lifelong bonds he has created with teammates and coaches make this football team his second family. As the sun finds its home in the western sky, James Wright finds his home at LSU, surrounded by his Tiger family.