With just over a minute to go in the third quarter of Stanford's Pac-10 football game against Arizona on Saturday, the Cardinal were in a bit of a predicament. Their All-American candidate at running back (Stepfan Taylor) had left the game due to an injury to his finger that needed treated in the locker room and Stanford already was trailing 33-28.
However, it took just two plays for the 17th-ranked Cardinal (4-1) to get back on top of the Wildcats and Stanford's Remound Wright was integral in both.
“Every time that Remound has had a chance to do something he has been really good,” Stanford running backs coach Mike Sanford said.
Wright and his teammates will travel to South Bend on Saturday to play seventh-ranked Notre Dame (5-0) at 3:30 p.m. (NBC).
On the first play of the aforementioned drive, Wright broke out for a 15-yard gain before throwing “a critical block” on the ensuing play, which resulted in a 55-yard scoring run by teammate Kelsey Young and put the Cardinal back on top in a game that they eventually won 54-48 in overtime.
“Remound's block was just so perfect,” Sanford said. “We hadn't even practiced that, he just went out there and played football. It was really good to see.”
After redshirting last season, the Bishop Dwenger High School graduate has made an impact when given the opportunity to rest Taylor this fall. Wright has played in four of Stanford's five games and carried the ball seven times for 25 yards. He also caught a pass for 35 yards and his versatility has impressed the Cardinal coaches.
“It's funny,” Sanford said, “we always try to package certain runs or passes to play to the running backs' strengths. What makes Remound so unique is that he is much like Stepfan, in that he does so many different things that you love that it's hard to kind of pigeon hole him into just certain schemes.”
Wright has shown “good acceleration” according to Sanford, but he is also a power runner that filled in for the Stanford fullback earlier this season in short yardage situations.
“He has that build like (All-Pro) Maurice Jones-Drew,” Sanford said. “He's low to the ground, he's packed up, he's strong, and his instincts are fast. Remound is just a good football player.”
Wright is also contributing on special teams. He was recently promoted as a starter on the punt-return team and Sanford said that he is “a very viable candidate as our kickoff-return guy.”
Wright is a freshman, Young is a sophomore and Anthony Wilkerson (nine carries this season) is a junior who back up the senior Taylor. All are valuable enough to make an impact, yet with a great back like Taylor in front of them, it creates a problem for Sanford.
“Right now it's challenging to take Stepfan off of the field,” Sanford said. “He just does everything so well. It's almost like we have to force ourselves at times to spell Stepfan.”
Sanford doesn't want to lose the services of Taylor anytime soon, but he feels very good about the future of Wright in his program.
“We are very, very excited about the future for Remound,” Sanford said. “Honestly, he just might end up being ''he guy' in the future here. He's done well for himself.”
Wright will be one of four former Saints players participating in the game on Saturday. Lining up for the Fighting Irish are wide receiver John Goodman, tight end Tyler Eifert and defensive lineman Tony Springmann.