BELTON- With less than 60 days until the Sept. 3 season opener, the UMHB football program has added to its running backs unit in a big way, securing a commitment from Carthage College transfer Noel Wright II on Thursday afternoon.
Wright is the sixth offensive transfer for the Cru heading into the 2022 season, and will have three years of eligibility, after spending three semesters at Carthage.
Playing in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW), against the likes of national contenders such as Wheaton and North Central, Wright had a spectacular sophomore year. The native of Houston, Texas started six games at running back, seeing action in a total of eight. In those contests, the 5’11, 180 lb Wright amassed 671 yards on the ground, leading the team in that category, along with five touchdowns. He ranked fourth in the CCIW in both total rushing yards and yards per game (83.9), earning an All-CCIW Second-Team selection following the season.
The Firebirds posted a 3-7 record last season. The Kenosha, Wisconsin school bounced back from a season-opening loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater with a 34-17 victory over CCIW foe Elmhurst, as Wright tallied 138 rushing yards. They won their next two games before hitting a rough stretch during the middle of conference play.
His incredible athleticism is evident on film, but was also displayed on the track, as he competed for the Carthage track and field program this past spring. Primarily a long jumper for the Firebirds, Wright leapt 6.00 meters for a second-place finish at a March 4 meet, and placed 10th in the event at the CCIW Indoor Championships in February.
He spent his high school career at C.E. King High in Houston, starring for the Panthers at the running back position. As a senior in 2020, he racked up 878 yards on 129 carries, scoring seven touchdowns. Wright also posted four 100-yard rushing games during that year, as King went 7-4. He earned First-Team All-District honors as well, as the Panthers reached the playoffs.
Wright joins a rushing unit that averaged 214.8 yards per game in 2021, and led the ASC in nearly every offensive stat category. He is the first known running back transfer UMHB has brought in, though Andre Mitchell, who committed two weeks ago, did play running back at the junior college level last season.