PHOTO GALLERY: Hafiz’s pick, Cousart’s acrobatics and more.
BOCA RATON – FAU wide receiver Willie Wright had been bugging coach Lane Kiffin for the opportunity to prove he can do anything on the football field.
Late in Tuesday’s practice, Kiffin gave Wright his chance.
The 5-foot-6, 160-pound Wright played a few snaps at quarterback and nickel during the Owls’ red zone drill.
“That really wasn’t planned,” Kiffin said. “That was just to create some energy in practice.”
If nothing else, Wright’s efforts entertained.
On his first play he rolled right, lofting a pass to wide receiver Dante Cousart in the end zone. Cousart appeared to catch the ball out of bounds, but that didn’t stop the offense from celebrating.
“I think he threw me a decent ball to make a play on,” Cousart said. “We’ll let the film decide.”
Wright’s reacted was more emphatically.
“He got one foot in.” Wright said.
Wright’s second pass wasn’t nearly as successful. Hard to find in the pocket when surrounded by players a foot taller and weighing at least 100 pounds more, Wright’s toss over the middle fluttered badly and was ultimately intercepted.
“I didn’t even know they were back there to be honest,” tackle Reggie Bain said. “When I finally realized it, I saw the ball loafing up in the air. I was like, who threw that? “
A Conference USA All-Freshman selection as a receiver, Wright hadn’t lined up at QB since his Pop Warner days.
He also tried to find the end zone on a keeper, gaining yardage but ultimately coming up short.
“It was fun,” Wright said. “It was tiring though – running around in the pocket like (quarterback De’Andre Johnson) and them.”
He was his own harshest critic.
“I wasn’t that good,” Wright said. “I threw a pick after I threw a touchdown. I’d give myself a low 70s today. I got a C, C+.”
Quarterbacks didn’t test Wright on the couple plays he lined up at nickel. The coverage appeared spot on.
On one play Wright and starting nickel Herb Miller swapped roles, with Wright blanketing Miller, who enjoyed a significant size advantage.
Wide receiver De’Andre McNeal also took a turn at quarterback, overthowing Cousart in the back of the end zone.