A number of prospects who enter the transfer portal are willing to move across the country to play college football. But an overwhelming theme in the past few cycles has been a desire to be as close to home as possible.
FSU coach Mike Norvell has brought in a large group of transfers who played their high school football in Florida, including Keir Thomas, Devontay Love-Taylor, Dillan Gibbons, Jashaun Corbin, D.J. Williams and Andrew Parchment. Jammie Robinson, who is from Leesburg, Ga., has also found a home in Tallahassee. When it came time for Winston Wright Jr. to pick his next home, it was clear proximity to his hometown of Savannah, Ga., was a factor.
“That was kind of a big deal with me,” Wright said. “As I was looking to go to Kentucky, that was eight hours away from home. I’m kind of close to my grandparents, so I wanted them to be able to like come see me like and for it not to be too far. So this worked out perfect.”
Wright said he knew Robinson as well as another Savannah native, FSU linebacker Kalen DeLoach. When he went in the portal, he talked to both players — and especially consulted with DeLoach.
“It’s really a big decision for me,” Wright said. “Big move. Because it is my last year. I grew up with him, so I kind of trusted him. He just let me know what type of program it is and how the coaches are. That is pretty much it.”
Wright is the most productive of FSU’s four transfer receivers, hauling in 63 passes for 688 yards and five touchdowns in 2021 (Mycah Pittman, Johhny Wilson and Deuce Spann combined for 29 catches last fall.) Pittman also has 129 career receptions for 1,338 yards and seven touchdowns.
With an established resume, it’s no surprise Wright said he wanted to find an offense and program that was the right fit for him but would set him up to be an NFL Draft pick. Wright in turn echoed something Pittman said, that Norvell has a resume (from Memphis and other schools) of producing NFL receivers.
“He is a dynamic and productive player who has grown throughout his career,” Norvell said. “He has a versatile skillset and is a dynamic kickoff returner. We are excited for all the different ways he can impact a game.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Wright is part of a revamped receiving corps that includes transfers like Pittman, Wilson and Spann. Competition should make the newcomers and returning receivers better.
“I wasn’t worried about depth or nothing like that because I’m coming to compete, to earn what is mine. I feel like this room is a very unique room. … I feel like this group, if we just work together, this could be a special year.”
Wright is also beginning to build a relationship with quarterback Jordan Travis.
“I would describe him as he is a unique quarterback,” Wright said. “He can run the ball. He can throw the ball. He has a strong arm. He can make things happen like when the play is shutdown, he can make second efforts happen. I felt like I wanted to come play with him. I feel like he’s a good quarterback.”