My grandmother came to all of my sports, toting one of those old, gigantic VHS camcorders. You know, the type that you had to hold up on your shoulder. Be it my baseball games or wrestling matches, she was always there to capture the moment. Now, I blog about sports, and no longer play them -- unless you count recreational softball -- so you can guess how much that old footage is worth.
San Francisco 49ers CB Eric Wright, however, is an athlete who plays in the highest league of his sport. So, it's worth a gander when we can see video of his early years playing the sport. Lucky for us, Wright posted three such videos to his Instagram page today.
Let's take a look at each.
From his Pop Warner through high school days, Wright played a little running back. Like most high-caliber high school players, he played on both sides of the ball well. There are a couple videos of him running the ball from his Pop Warner days. I chose this one because, well, you can tell by watching it. The speed and skill difference is pretty clear.
Even after having his shoulder pad yanked out, he just brushes it off and keeps trucking to pay dirt.
This is the highlight that almost wasn't.
Wight, now playing on defense, flies into the backfield. He whiffs on a tackle attempt, but that probably just made him mad. After picking himself up, he catches up to the ball carrier from behind, strips the ball, and then dashes to the endzone as everyone else just kind of watches.
Here's Wright in high school, again playing running back. There appear to be two separate plays. In the first, he starts left before cutting back inside, avoids a couple tackles, cuts back to the outside where he avoids another four defenders before yet again cutting to the inside part of the field. Too bad it ended there, because there were a few more jock straps to be juked off of perusing defenders.
In the second half of the video, he heads to the right sideline and slaloms around several defensive players as he pushes his way up field.
In these videos, you really get to see just how good NFL caliber players were in their formative years, showing skills far advanced beyond their peers. It's kind of fun to see one of our guys back when he was just a tyke.
If videos from your youth surfaced, what would they show?
Update: After posting this article, Wright's father, Talim, reached out to us on Twitter. It was a pretty funny reply. Here's your credit, Mr. Wright!