1996 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Winner Lawrence Wright, University of Florida
PAYCOM JIM THORPE AWARD
Lawrence Wright was born in Miami, Florida and attended North Miami High School and Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Wright received an athletic scholarship from the University of Florida in 1993. He led the Gators with 109 tackles as a junior in 1995. During Wright's senior season in 1996, he served as a team captain and led the Gators to the1996 Bowl Alliance national championship by defeating the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles 52–20 in the 1997 Sugar Bowl. That same year, he also won the Jim Thorpe Award, recognizing the best defensive back in college football, and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1995 and 1996. He finished his Gator career with 331 tackles, five interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Lawrence Wright excelled in the classroom as well earning SEC Academic Honor Roll for four consecutive years, and was a CFA Scholar-Athlete in 1996. He graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in building construction in 1997, and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2007.
Wright was undrafted in the 1997 NFL Draft, but signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent. He played in eighteen regular season games for the Bengals from 1997 – 1999. Following his retirement from the NFL, Wright formed a construction and development company in South Florida, called Wright & Partners.