Mavs’ Wright selected as a first-team All-American

Colorado Mesa defensive end Connor Wright wrapped up his final exams early so he could spend more time with his family this week.

He spent more time on the phone Wednesday than with family after finding out he was selected to the 2011 Daktronics NCAA Division II All-America team.

“I’ve been freaking out,” Wright said. “My coach (Joe Ramunno) texted me earlier. I’ve been on cloud nine ever since.

“It means the world to me to cap off a year with such a great honor with all those other great athletes. My phone’s been blowing up all day.”

The senior from Wheat Ridge led the Mavericks (4-7) with 106 tackles, 20.5 for a loss, 11 sacks and 16 quarterback hurries. He was tied for ninth in the nation with one sack per game and 1.86 tackles for a loss per game. He had 11 tackles and six sacks in a 52-30 victory over Dixie State (Utah) College in the second week of the season.

“It’s great for me and also for Colorado Mesa football,” Wright said. “It’s a great way to go out. Coach Ramunno was my position coach. Hopefully that was a reflection of him and his coaching. Hopefully I did him proud.”

Wright’s older sister, Toni, would be proud as well.

Wright changed his jersey number from 99 to her number 7 for his senior season and played in her memory. Toni Wright was killed in a car accident six years ago as she was driving to North Platte (Neb.) Community College, where she attended school.

“I planned on making this season the best possible,” he said. “I wanted to have a great senior season. I wanted to do it for my sister, mainly.”

Wright was one of seven RMAC players to make the All-America team.

Nebraska-Kearney cornerback Arthur Hobbs and Colorado Mines punter Taylor Accardi made the first team. Colorado State-Pueblo linebacker Lee Meisner and kicker Kyle Major, Kearney offensive lineman Stephen Goodin and New Mexico Highlands linebacker Jordan Campbell made the second team.

Wright is the first Mesa player to earn All-America honors since running back Bobby Coy and kicker Jared Keating in 2008. Defensive end Kurt Kissner made the All-America team in 2007.


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