This decision here from Corey Wren calls for a quick footnote. The reality is he will choose between two football-playing schools AND football-slash-nationally-known track program led by an American Olympic hero.
That would be Arizona State, Georgia and Houston. Not necessarily in that alphabetical order, though.
He was able to articulate the intrigue with Georgia.
“Iron sharpens iron,” Wren said. “I have them in my top 3 because I know I’ll be competing against some of the best in college football. Future NFL players. I wanna learn from that.”
He has another high level of respect for the chance to be a Sun Devil in Arizona. It is a similar vibe. Arizona State will develop him as a player. That starts with a coaching staff led by longtime NFL player and coach Herm Edwards.
“Arizona State will give me that NFL coaching,” Wren told DawgNation. “They are loaded with former NFL players and even Hall of Famers.”
It comes down to a top-tier roster versus a top-tier coaching staff and one wild card. The appeal for all schools will be to play football and run track. Wren feels he can go 10.2 in the 100 next spring as a senior.
He might have had that in him this spring if not for a hamstring injury that popped up after his third meet. Wren also told DawgNation he was timed last year at a Mississippi State camp at 4.31 seconds in the 40.
If the choice winds up Houston, then he will run track and play football. Not the other way around. It is clearly more of a track connection there. He aspires to be coached by Carl Lewis and has always wanted to live in that city.
“Definitely,” Wren said. “Working with Carl Lewis became a dream of mine after meeting him and having a 1-on-1 conversation with him.”
It makes sense to look beyond the stars with Wren here. He rates on the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 35 ATH and No. 515 overall prospect for 2020.
He also lists as an athlete. Not a receiver. That is due to the fact high school team still run the “Veer.” It means he runs between the tackles. The 5-foot-9.5, 176-pounder has shaped his body to endure that.
He also flanks out wide for passes and to come around on jet sweeps for John Curtis. Look for Wren to cross-train at safety this year and also return kicks. The program is a defending state champion in Louisiana. Curtis has a rep in that state which invokes the same respect Valdosta High does to Georgians.
Wren also has a specific set of skills that Georgia receivers coach Cortez Hankton doesn’t have in his room. The interest from the Bulldogs is there.
They want to add a player to their offense that brings the same dimensions that got Mecole Hardman Jr. drafted in the second round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kirby Smart himself told Wren that he can see those same elements to his game.
Corey Wren told DawgNation that he has been clocked at 4.31 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His best track time in the 100 meters is listed at 10.41 seconds. (Corey Wren/Twitter)
What is this “CoSavage” stuff with Corey Wren?
CoSavage, huh? What was that about in those paragraphs up north a little bit?
That’s the name the New Orleans speedster adopts when things get real on a football field. He uses that as his Twitter handle, too. It came to him after his sophomore year.
“I was like this speedy and finesse player but going into my junior year I had to turn into something more than that,” Wren said. “There’s Corey and then there ‘CoSavage’ when I come onto that football field. ‘CoSavage’ is a person that will run over you. My film shows that. I’m not afraid to put my shoulder down.”
That guy is “all for it” when it comes to blocking for big-time tailbacks.
“As long as we are winning I don’t care what I do,” he said. “Anything I can do for the team. I told coach Kirby [Smart] that I liked special teams. Put me over there at gunner and I’ll do that. I will do anything to help the team win.”
He used that to separate himself from all the generic “Speedy” nicknames he was getting. That derivative is a hybrid of the first letters of his first name and then that “savage” mentality Bulldog fans have seen in the program’s targets since the 2017 cycle.
Wrens placed that now semi-famous UGA python from the May scavenger hunt around his neck. For the record, he said that receivers coach Cortez Hankton wouldn’t even touch “Sunshine” that day.
Corey might have given the wisdom of doing such a thing a fourth or a fifth thought. But “CoSavage” was ready for selfies with “Sunshine.”
“I told coach Hankton after the scavenger hunt to let me get pictures with the snake around my neck,” Wren said. “Just for the fun of it. I didn’t think he was actually going to let me do it, but he did. It was a cool moment. Something I never thought I would do. But it was fun. I enjoyed it.”
That “CoSavage” stuff is nice. Clever imagery. But he shared something he would rather be known for. Wren wants to be a “Chainbreaker” for his family and community.
Corey Wren: The Chainbreaker
Wren plays football for his loved ones.
“I play for my family,” Wren said. “Really my family really don’t have much. Success and all that I might say. We don’t really have a name for ourselves. Do you know what I mean? So I’m really just trying to put my family name on the map for something good.”
“I’m trying to start something for the next generation to come ahead of me. I want to start something here for my kids. Then for the kids of my kids. I want to be the ‘Chainbreaker’ here. I talk to my Dad all the time about setting examples. For my little cousins. Even for other adults in my family who went down the wrong road. Really, I just want to set an example for the community, my family and any other kids that are watching.”
What did he do to get those lighting bolts in his cleats? When asked about that, he laughs.
Everyone asks him that question. The unlikeliest parts of his answer seem to be that he didn’t even start running track until he was 12 years old.
12? Yes. 12 years old. (There’s hope for all of us, right?)
His father tells him that he gets if from his father. Word got around that his grandfather Clarence Wren Sr. was a very fast person, too.
That said, he does a lot of speed work now. A lot. It starts with what he calls the “pyramid” drill.
“I sprint 10 meters five times,” he said. “Then I sprint 20 meters five times. Then 40 meters five times and then I do fifty meters five times. That’s really my speed workout.”
Wren can readily say he’s never been hawked down on the football field. (We’ll quickly define that the term “hawk” has been in use for over 15 years to convey a slower man getting chased down by a defender.)
Yet some say he walks real slow around the house or in halls at John Curtis.
“My Dad says I am slow,” Wren said. “He says I am slow at everything. I just tell him I am consuming my energy for when I have to run.”
If that’s the case, it is working.
But he did lose a track race this year, though. His 10.51 wasn’t fast enough to catch a Bulldog.
“I lost to Matthew Boling,” Wren said. “That was my only loss of the season, though.”
Corey Wren impressed a lot of folks, including a potential receivers coach, when he asked to pose with that semi-famous “Sunshine” during the May scavenger hunt. (Corey Wren/Twitter)
The potential of a UGA fit with Corey Wren
Hankton, the up-and-coming Georgia receivers coach, is a New Orleans guy. He is well-known and respected around that state.
He had a pointed conversation with Wren. It was kept very real there.
“One thing Coach Hankton said was he didn’t sugarcoat anything,” Wren said. “He told me straight up about my film. He said my film shows that I can run, but he said ‘I want you to come here and play receiver for me. You’re not showing me really any catching’ and he told it to me straight like that.”
Hankton said the one thing he can’t teach him to run the way Wren can.
“But he said what he can teach me is going to be route running and consistent catching,” Wren said. “I really applaud that of him. He doesn’t sugarcoat it with me. I really don’t like it when people tell me I can come here or come to a school and star right away. To be the face of the program. I just don’t feed into all of that. I want somebody to tell me I’m going to have to come in and work for something with a full head of steam.”
Wren has a natural work ethic. Combined with a true sense of stubbornness deep within him to prove people wrong.
The other natural parallel here with Wren is Hardman. It is unavoidable. Most will realize that players never want to be known and the next Player X or Player Y. They prefer to stand on their own.
Wren wants to be a “Chainbreaker” for his family. Remember? Not just another fast dude who plays for an Arizona State or a Georgia or a Houston.
But Wren has a lot of similarities to Hardman. Even down to the way he shows real emotion after big plays. Their size profiles are very similar.
“The Bulldog fans tell me that all the time,” Wren said. “Man, it is an honor. To be even in the same conversation as that guy. A very good player. Speedy. I have the same type of game. But really, you know, like you said I want to start my own destiny. My own trend. I want to be the first Corey Wren.”
He added a little more depth to the pleasantries he expressed there.
“I don’t just want to put myself in the category as a speed receiver,” Wren said. “I want to be that speed receiver but I also want to be able to high point a ball and run through tackles. Because I don’t ever want to limit myself into a category as a player or anything.”
It must also be said that Hardman was basically only a 10.6 guy in the 100 meters. Especially in high school. Wren is already two-tenths of a second faster than that. That’s at least a step faster.
Wren has moved up his timetable considerably. He was thinking about early August as his decision finish line at the beginning of this month.
That’s when he set back-to-back officials to Arizona State (June 9-12) and Houston (June 14-16) over the last week.
That scavenger hunt visit really “shocked” him. Georgia has made up a lot of ground of the other contenders here over the last six weeks. That offer from Hankton came after watching him at track practice.
He tweeted it out on May 1. Ohio State even offered a few days later.
He sounds like he has a school in mind.
“This was already in motion,” Wren said. “I have confidence in this school and my playing ability. I’m ready to focus on winning another state title with the team.”
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