Five Questions with ... running back Nay’Quan Wright

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports
Florida running back Nay'Quan Wright is ready to do his part in the backfield rotation.

Sophomore Nay'Quan Wright looks to have a vastly larger role in the Florida Gators offense this season, after 46 carries and 14 catches as a redshirt freshman in 2021. 

We spoke with Wright prior to Saturday night's season opener with the Florida Atlantic Owls.

Gators notebook:Wright talks RB rotation, UF resembling Ravens on offense

David Whitley:Emory Jones deserves a payoff for his patience

Looking ahead:Gators ready to unveil new-look offense, improved defense against Owls

Q: How much are you looking forward to playing in front of a bigger crowd?

A: We’re just glad to be back at it, give the fans what they’ve been waiting on. They’ve been waiting a long time, actually a whole year. We haven't had a packed out stadium, so we expect just to give them a show, play as a team and get the win. I did talk to some of those younger guys (about the crowd). It's really hard to explain to them that 90,000 is going to be in there. They can imagine all they want, but they’re gonna see it for themselves. And I’m pretty sure they’re gonna have blood flowing and be ready to go. Just gotta let the game come to you.

Q: What do you expect from this offense? Can this year’s unit be as explosive as last season?

A: I think so; I think so. We got all the right guys and the right pieces in the right place, and everyone understands their role so I think we can do the same thing we did last year, maybe even better. With the guys we have in the (running back) room, I think it'll be more run emphasis. Both (quarterbacks) can pass and throw, so I mean, it’s gonna be a good one.

Q: What have you seen from UF's passing game with the younger players stepping into bigger roles?

A: We have a lot of weapons on the outside, those guys who we have now. They’re just able to step up and understand that their role is much higher than it was the previous year. I mean, they were sitting behind some veteran guys that were very talented, and as you’ve seen, they flashed their talent. So now it’s time for those guys to put it together and put on a show this year.

Q: You go against the defensive linemen every day. What gives you confidence that they will be a team strength? 

A: In my opinion I think we have the best D-line and the edge rushers in college football today. Those guys, honestly, I don't think we're gonna see a D-line like the D-line we have. They just get us better on pass blocking or run fitting, however you want to put it. Those guys give us good looks, so they're going to help us in the future.

Q: You guys obviously won the SEC East last year and were six points away from beating Alabama. Do you feel like this is a potential playoff team? 

A: Yeah, I believe we can make a run to the playoff, but first we gotta handle FAU. They’re first on the schedule, but we have to handle them and then handle the rest of the opponents. But think we can make it, though. I think we can make it and even go further than that. But we just have to take it one week at a time.