Lawrence Wright (American football)
|Date of birth:||September 6, 1973|
|Place of birth:||Miami, Florida|
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|High school:||North Miami (FL)|
|Career highlights and awards|
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|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Lawrence D. Wright, III (born September 6, 1973) is an American former college and professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League (NFL) for two seasons during the 1990s. Wright played college football for the University of Florida, where he was a member of a national championship team. Thereafter, he played professionally for the Cincinnati Bengals of the NFL.
Wright accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team from 1993 to 1996. He led the Gators with 109 tackles as a junior in 1995. During Wright's senior season in 1996, Wright was one of the team captains and the Gators posted a 12–1 record and won the 1996 Bowl Alliance national championship by defeating the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles 52–20 in the 1997 Sugar Bowl. That same year, he also won the Jim Thorpe Award, recognizing the best defensive back in college football, and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1995 and 1996. He finished his Gator career with 331 tackles, five interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumbles recoveries.
Wright was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll for four consecutive years, and was a CFA Scholar-Athlete in 1996. He graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in building construction in 1997, and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2007.
Gators fans also remember Wright for leading the cheer "If you ain't a Gator, you must be Gator bait!" during a large celebration at Florida Field following Florida's 1996 national championship. As an alumnus, he returned to Gainesville to lead the same cheer during celebrations after the Gators' national championships in 2006 and 2008
Wright was undrafted in the 1997 NFL Draft, but was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent. He played in eighteen regular season games for the Bengals during the 1997 and 1999 seasons, He appeared in four regular season games as a rookie and fourteen games in 1999, but was released by the Bengals before the beginning of the 2000 season.
Life after football
After retiring from professional football, Wright formed a construction and real estate development company, Wright & Partners, in South Florida.
- Florida Gators football, 1990–99
- History of the Cincinnati Bengals
- List of Florida Gators football players in the NFL
- List of University of Florida alumni
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Lawrence Wright. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- databaseFootball.com, Players, Lawrence Wright. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 88, 97, 98, 99, 100–101, 125, 153–154, 186 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- College Football Data Warehouse, All-Time Coaching Records, Steve Spurrier 1996. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Jim Thorpe Association, Thorpe Award Winners, Lawrence Wright. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
- F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- "Nine Members Inducted Into University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame," GatorZone.com (April 13, 2007). Retrieved July 21, 2011.
- Pat Dooley, "Past UF champs inspire and cheer on the Gators," The Gainesville Sun (January 13, 2007). Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- National Football League, Draft History, 1997. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- National Football League, Historical Players, Lawrence Wright. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
- Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
- Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
- McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
- Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.