By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Jorge Wright and Will Clarke will be leaders in West Virginia University’s football defensive line this season.
Wright is a 6-foot-2, 289-pound senior from Miami, Fla. He will be a second-year starter at defensive end.
Clarke is a 6-foot-6, 260-pound junior from Pittsburgh, Pa. He will start at defensive tackle, where he moved to during the spring.
Wright has played in 34 games, including 15 starts. Clarke started 11 of 13 games last season as WVU posted a 10-3 record in Dana Holgorsen’s first year as a head coach.
“Everyone has been looking pretty good learning the new 3-4 formula,” Wright said. “It puts more people on the line.
“When they drop back, it is pretty much the same thing, making it look like a 3-3. The way we line up makes it look easier.”
Wright said a four-man front doesn’t look much different from a three-man front defensively. He doesn’t think the difference is that much.
“But it depends on how you play your blocks,” he added.
Clarke said, “We’re not there yet. We’re working on communications. We’re trying to do everything right. The younger guys are taking the right footsteps.
“Some of them are becoming more comfortable out there.
“As a team player, whatever I can do to help the others out I certainly will do whatever I can.
“That includes anything on the special teams.
“We are all pretty much focused as a unit, getting the 3-4 down pat. We are focused on stopping the run first. But we always want to get at the quarterback.
“Stop the run first, then get at the quarterback with as much pressure as we can.”
Wright played in all 13 games as a junior and started 12. He had 38 tackles, including 21 unassisted, three and a half tackles for losses, and one and a half sacks.
For three seasons, Wright has 58 tackles, seven stops for lost yardage, and two and a half sacks.
Clarke played defensive end and started 11 of 13 games in 2011. He had 19 tackles, 15 assists, five tackles for losses, two sacks and one pass break-up.
For his two seasons, he shows 20 tackles, 16 assists, five and a half tackles for losses, and two sacks for minus -16.