It was just over a year ago that I met Remound Wright. At that time, hardly anyone outside Fort Wayne knew about this stocky running back with the infectious smile.
Fast forward about 13 months, and I was standing on the field at Wayne State University talking to a Stanford commit.
"It feels great," he said. "A year ago it was all hard work and it kind of felt like it wasn't getting results, but it all came in due time. I just kept working out every day and doing what I needed to do, going to necessary places and it worked out."
Wright has rushed over 3,000 yards in two varsity seasons at Bishop Dwenger, one of the state's top programs, and is headed for similar success this season. Perhaps even more impressive that his rushing statistics are his classroom numbers, as he carries a 4.33 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
Over the course of the last year, his accomplishments and stellar film would earn him scholarship offers from the likes of Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State, and many more. Yet, it was a trip out west a few months back that tilted the advantage over to the Cardinal.
"Well, I took a visit out there over the first week in April, my spring break. It was beautiful; everything I could ever want in a school, plus the academics. It's California. Somewhere that's very different from Indiana. I wanted to commit on my visit, but I figured I should take my time, come back and take a few other visits. In the end, nothing measured up to Stanford."
To state the obvious: Palo Alto is quite a ways from Fort Wayne. However, those positives Wright mentioned about Stanford far outweighed the adjustment both he and his parents will have to make once he heads off to college.
"I don't mind the distance," he admitted. "I'll probably be homesick a little bit, but everybody gets homesick. My mom is loving it cause she wanted to go to Stanford when she was a kid, but her parents couldn't afford it, and my dad probably won't tell me, but he's probably sad about the distance because he's used to coming out to everything of mine. I think he'll make do somehow and find a way out there."
With Toby Gerhart off to the NFL, Stanford will have a new tailback this year, and beyond that, Wright sees opportunity for him to contribute early on.
"It all depends on how hard I work basically. They have about three running backs right now they'll be using and the youngest one of them will be a junior by the time I get there. I feel like with my talent level, I can go in and compete with anyone, it's just a matter of working hard and doing what I need to do."
As for the classroom, Wright has already decided on a field of study.
"I'm looking to study psychology right off the bat. I think it will be really interesting. That's what I really want to do is find something I like and something I'll want to do for the rest of my life. Stanford, they've been number one the last couple years in psychology, so, it fits."
Now Wright can focus on helping Dwenger win another state title, and he can look back over what can be a grueling recruiting process, and smile his trademark smile bigger than ever. While he put in the work on and off the field, he wanted to make sure the right people know he is appreciative of their help in getting him here.
"I couldn't have done it without my parents...you have to put that in the story. They'll be happy with that."
And we are happy to oblige.