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Wright finishes senior season with strong friendships on and off the field

| Friday, December 18, 2020

Brock Wright, a lifelong Irish fan, recalls his commitment to play football for Notre Dame as a dream come true. In many ways, his career hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations that were set for him, but like so many others, he has cherished his time at Notre Dame. 

Wright grew up in Cypress, Texas, a city of nearly 200,000 people northwest of Houston. Most of his friends and family grew up there and attended college in Texas, but Wright decided to blaze his own path. He had always been a fan of Notre Dame, both the football team and the University, so it was a natural decision for him to end up in South Bend, he said.

With all the success the Irish have experienced over the past four years, there are lots of incredible moments to choose as a favorite, but Wright singled out one game that stood out in his memory.

Emma Farnan | The Observer
Irish senior tight end Brock Wright runs for a 40-yard gain against Bowling Green in Notre Dame’s route to 52-0 win over the Green Falcons on Oct. 5, 2019 at Notre Dame Stadium.

“It’s hard to beat the Clemson game,” he said. “That was pretty incredible.” 

Off the field, he said he’s made memories that are just as impactful. Wright lived in Dunne Hall during his time on campus, along with teammates Tommy Kraemer, Robert Hainsey and Aaron Banks. He also formed friendships with many non-athletes — relationships he said he cherishes.

“You accumulate a whole bunch of memories that collectively would be my favorite of my time here,” he said.

The 2020 season has presented challenges due to the pandemic, but it allowed more moments for the team to bond, Wright said.

“We were already very close, to begin with,” he said. “We have a very close-knit group of guys, even though there’s more than 100 of us, we’re a very like-minded team.”

The introduction of preventative COVID-19 protocols allowed the team to spend more time together, strengthening the sense of camaraderie that was already very strong.

“It kind of became just us for a while, so you get even closer, spend even more time with each other, because it’s kind of all we have,” Wright said. “You go through hard things with people and you come out better and you come out closer.”

The pandemic also presented the opportunity to play for the ACC championship — a unique experience for Wright.

“This year has kind of been fun, everything is unexpected,” he said. “I think we’re all just really looking forward to getting to experience something that isn’t very common.”

Wright was a highly touted recruit out of Cy-Fair High School, but never fully lived up to his immense potential. A four-star recruit in the class of 2017 who was ranked as the 29th overall player in the ESPN Top 300, Wright was largely considered the top tight end in his class.

He has made some big plays for the Irish, recovering the game-sealing onside kick in the victory over USC in 2019 and completing a career-long 40-yard reception in the 52-0 win over Bowling Green. He caught his only touchdown in the 2018 victory over Wake Forest but has just seven career receptions for 78 yards.

He was largely stuck behind former Irish standout Cole Kmet on the depth chart, who was part of the same class before declaring for the NFL draft after his junior season. This year, largely expected to be a bigger part of the rotation, he was again forced to take a secondary role as first-year Michael Mayer burst onto the scene to become one of the Irish’s top receiving threats. 

However, Wright has still been a key contributor to the Irish on special teams and as a blocking tight end. One of the most durable players on the Irish roster, he appeared in all but three games during his career, including ten starts. 

He hopes to use these skills to continue his career at the next level. He graduated this winter with a degree in marketing from the Mendoza College of Business and will begin to prepare for the NFL after the season concludes.

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