USFL rising star Scooby Wright III was preparing to become a firefighter before he was drafted

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Birmingham Stallions linebacker Scooby Wright III was one of the opening stars of the opening United States Soccer League season.

Across four games, the Stallions are undefeated. Wright recorded 32 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two defended passes to help Birmingham.

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Scooby Wright III (33) of the Birmingham Stallions warms up before a game against the New Jersey generals at Protective Stadium on April 16, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.

Scooby Wright III (33) of the Birmingham Stallions warms up before a game against the New Jersey generals at Protective Stadium on April 16, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.
(Rob Carr / USFL / Getty Images)

Wright was the first Stallions selection in the USFL Draft inside linebackers in February. He told Fox News Digital in a recent interview in which he graduated from a fire academy in California and volunteered before deciding to put the pads and helmet back on. He had been removed for two years from a brief stint with the XFL, which ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“After XFL ended in 2020 due to the pandemic, I went home to Northern California and started taking fire prerequisite classes for the fire academy,” Wright said. “So, from July to December, I was at the fire academy four days a week, two days during the week and 8 to 5 on weekends. I graduated from the fire academy at Santa Rosa Junior College and got my firefighter I and certificate of firefighter II. I was preparing to become a firefighter. “

Scooby Wright III (33) of the Birmingham Stallions knocks the ball from the hands of Luis Perez (2) of the New Jersey generals in a game at Protective Stadium on April 16, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.

Scooby Wright III (33) of the Birmingham Stallions knocks the ball from the hands of Luis Perez (2) of the New Jersey generals in a game at Protective Stadium on April 16, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.
(Rob Carr / USFL / Getty Images)

Wright said he was lucky to have a good support system.

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“I was lucky to have the place where I volunteer,” Wright told Fox News Digital. “First of all, I love soccer. I love the game. But, you know, my fire captain, he trained me in soccer when I was growing up when I was 12, and we’ve always been close friends.

“He was my fire brigade captain and I asked him, ‘Hey, am I crazy if I go do this?’ And that was going to play in the USFL. He said, ‘No, you’re crazy if you don’t go and do it.’ I was lucky enough to have people around me to continue carrying out something I love. “

Wright brought extensive football experience to the USFL.

He was an All-American in 2014 in Arizona and may have been a better choice in 2016 had it not been for an injury he sustained in the third game of his junior season with the Wildcats. the The Arizona Cardinals selected him in the seventh round of the NFL Draft, and played 13 games for them between 2016 and 2017, recording seven tackles.

Wright bounced off a couple of NFL teams but got more playing time in several spring leagues. He played in the Alliance of American Football, Spring League and XFL before moving to the USFL.

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Scooby Wright III (33) of the Birmingham Stallions reacts after a defensive stop during the second half against the Tampa Bay Bandits at Protective Stadium on May 7, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.
(Matthew Stockman / USFL / Getty Images)

One of the things that stood out for Wright in the USFL was the league’s emphasis on production. The league unveiled the helmet cams and gave fans an inside look at what players are talking about on and off the pitch.

Wright had a viral moment last week conquer the Tampa Bay Bandits. He said he had to celebrate the “shark dog” after being called for mockery the week before.

“I took my favorite animals and kind of went there,” Wright said, adding that he brings the “ferocity” of a pit bull and a shark to the football field.

Wright expressed enthusiasm for how much players have grown as teammates.

“It’s going well right now. Honestly, the guys are getting very close to the team and we’re getting better every week,” Wright said. “We have really good players in our attack and defense and special teams who are playing really well at free football. We’re just going out there and we’re playing well right now.”

The Stallions have a great game against the Philadelphia Star Sunday afternoon. The Stars (2-2) barely survived the Michigan Panthers in week 4.

Scooby Wright III (33) of the Birmingham Stallions reacts in the second quarter against the New Orleans Breakers at Protective Stadium on April 30, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.

Scooby Wright III (33) of the Birmingham Stallions reacts in the second quarter against the New Orleans Breakers at Protective Stadium on April 30, 2022, in Birmingham, Ala.
(Douglas DeFelice / USFL / Getty Images)

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Birmingham and Philadelphia plays at noon on NBC.