Corico Wright explains name change and new outlook on life

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Corico Wright has a new position on the football field, a new name on the back of his jersey and a new outlook on life.

Most Clemson fans know Wright as Corico HawkinsCorico Hawkins
Sr. Linebacker
#42 5-11, 230
Milledgeville, GA

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, the senior middle linebacker out of Milledgeville (GA) Baldwin who has started in the middle of Clemson’s defense the last two seasons. In his Clemson career, he has 170 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and five sacks.

However, he moved to outside linebacker in the spring, where he will battle incumbent Tig Willard and the highly-touted Tony StewardTony Steward
So. Linebacker
#7 6-1, 245
Hastings, FL

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for playing time.

However, his biggest change came over the summer with the change from Hawkins to Wright, a process that included an increased level of maturity and spiritual awakening.

“My name change was basically just a spiritual move,” Wright said after Saturday’s practice. “In the past, there were some bad things that happened between my mother and my father and I grew to hate my father. Through my spiritual walk, I learned I have to be a man and wear my last name with pride, forgive him, and love him through Christ and that’s what I’ve done. I can’t judge him for his mistakes.”

Wright said that both he and his father are working on forging a stronger bond, a bond that goes beyond even the name.

“We have been working our relationship out throughout the summer and I have talked to him just about every day,” he said. “I see a lot of myself in him. We look alike so if y’all see him, you will be like, ‘Is that Corico?’ He just has a bald head. There are a lot of similarities there. It has been great because we have been working on it and getting to know each other more each and every time we talk. When I went home I hung out with him and it has been great. Any time God is involved, it’s going to work.”

Wright said that before he began the process of forgiveness, it had been a while since he and his father had spoken and that meeting with James Trapp – the former Clemson player who acts as a volunteer team advisor – opened his eyes to the possibilities.

“It was a couple of years- about three years or so that I went without talking to him,” he said. “It started roughly around January or February because James Trapp’s Battlegrounds [a lesson series that Trapp teaches] are crucial. Once he started those Battleground sessions, I really got into the Word and grew spiritually. It really got me into making everything right, living right off the field and making a lot of things right. That’s where it really started.”

And the process of healing continues between father and son.

“The last time I talked to my father was the other day,” Wright said. “He called me and told me to have a great camp, work hard every day, give it my best shot, and make it a memorable camp because it is going to be my last one.”

Wright says he now wants to work on being more of a leader to the many young players on Clemson’s team.

“To be a leader, you have to lead by example. I do a lot of that, so they say,” he said. “I keep my nose clean, make sure I’m on time. If you stick your neck out there and act like you want to be a leader, they are going to be watching you. You just have to make sure that you are holding up your part too- just texting guys to get them to come watch film, staying on them about running to the football and picking the tempo up a little bit. You just can’t wake up one day and be a leader. Leaders are born. Leaders have those characteristics that they can grab the room and get everyone on the same page.

“We had a lot of young guys last year and a lot of redshirt freshmen, but this year those guys are sophomores and they understand. They understand that you have to run to the football. They understand that they have to study. Those guys have really come on for us and we really need those guys because we are young team. Those guys are going to be really key and they have been putting in the work throughout the spring and the summer and it’s transpiring in camp. We are really going to need those guys.”

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