In order to make a case for why an NFL team should actually pay former University of Miami Quarterback Kyle Wright real money to at least show up to camp, we must go back in time to the 2003 National Recruiting Scene:
1. Kyle Wright, QB, 6-4, 200, Danville, Calif. (Miami)
2. Reggie Bush, RB, 6-0, 183, La Mesa, Calif. (Southern Cal)
According to multiple recruiting websites, this was indeed the case.
The man Hurricane fans love to hate was in fact ranked above the second overall pick in the NFL Draft and easily one of the best college football players of all time.
Not only Reggie, but other NFL stars such as Antonio Cromartie, Mario Williams, Ernie Sims, JaMarcus Russell, and Brady Quinn were all considered second to Wright coming out of high school.
Don't forget the hype that Wright received in Miami in the days leading up to his first spring practice, and his eventual debut against in-state rival Florida State on the road was monumental.
He was referred to as one of the best quarterbacks to ever come through "Quarterback U." And the rest, as they say, is history.
Although Wright would lose his first start against Florida State, the hope wasn't all lost. He showed flashes of brillance and the blame couldn't be fully placed on him because of his performance.
As he progressed, he began to find his comfort zone. He would go on to earn HonorableMention All-ACC and led the ACC in touchdown passes with 18.
A forgettable milestone in his career, however, would be the 40-3 beating that they would take at the hands of backup quarterback Matt Flynn and the LSU Tigers in the Peach Bowl.
Still reeling after this loss, he would once again struggle against FSU in another opening season loss where the offense could not get going at all.
After a loss to Virginia Tech in early November, which dropped Miami to 5-4 on the year, Wright would shut down his season with a broken thumb only to watch his team earn a MPC Computers Bowl berth against Nevada.
Practically the worst moment in Wright's career at Miami comes at the end of his stay in college. Here's a synopsis of his 2007 season:
Kirby Freeman announced as starting quarterback to open the season against Marshall.
Wright comes in during a blowout loss and leads a scoring drive at Oklahoma.
He earns starting job back for next two games against FIU and an upset win against Texas A&M where Wright would play his best game at Miami.
After a loss on the road to North Carolina, Wright and Freeman split time against Georgia Tech. The Canes lost that game at home.
The next week at Florida State, he would be knocked out of the game with an ankle injury. Freeman would lead the game winning drive for the last win the Hurricanes would get for the rest of the year.
The last three games simply marked lame duck period for Kyle as he closed out the Orange Bowl as a part of the worst loss in history at the hands of Virginia, and ended his career with losses at Virginia Tech and Boston College.
Despite the ups and downs (mainly downs) at Miami, the bottom line is Kyle Wright is a physical specimen.
Combine a 6'4", 225-pound frame with a laser, rocket arm, and you can see that he has all the tools to be a productive NFL backup and could manage the game if he gets called on.
At this point your probably thinking "OK buddy that's enough, this guy was 18-13 at Miami! There is absolutely no way he could make it in the NFL."
But you have to look at the big picture.
He underwent a coaching change, constant pressure from fans who, quite frankly, know little about the game, three different offensive coordinators/QB coaches, and mediocre talent around him that always forced him to try to do everything on the field.
The one thing Kyle needs is good coaching. He knows the game, and with a solid coach, he can play in this league.
He won't be a Tom Brady, but if he is given the chance, he will turn some heads, because he has the talent.
This isn't the story of The Little Engine That Could—it's more like The Big Engine That Just Hasn't Been Able To.