Hawaii Practice Notes Day 1: Mike Wright on being in Honolulu, first season as captain

The Commodores began Day 1 of game week practice for their matchup against Hawaii on Saturday.


Vanderbilt Athletics

Quarterback Mike Wright lands in Honolulu on August 21, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics)

Andrew Wilf, Deputy Sports Editor

Editor’s note: Vanderbilt Athletics sponsored a trip to Hawaii for Deputy Sports Editor Andrew Wilf, granting him on-site access to the team’s day-to-day activities for journalistic purposes.

On Aug. 21, the Vanderbilt Commodores departed Nashville International Airport at 2 p.m. CDT and landed at Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii, just under nine hours later, at 6 p.m. HST. 

The team then bussed to their hotel and caught up on some sleep. Many Commodores felt the effects of jet lag but were energized at the crack of dawn on Monday morning. At 8:30 a.m. HST, the Commodores headed to a local high school to begin game prep for Saturday’s matchup with Hawaii. Once practice concluded at 11 a.m. HST, Mike Wright spoke with the media about his experience in Honolulu thus far.

“We’re soaking it all in. It’s a lot going on, but one thing that I’m proud to say is that I’m here to win a football game, so we’re limiting all of our distractions. We’re enjoying the sites on the bus rides over to practice and to the hotel but we’re here to play football,” Wright told the Hustler. “This is my first time [in Hawaii] so I’m enjoying the scenery right now.”

Although Vanderbilt has the privilege to spend a week in Honolulu, Wright understands that this is a business trip first and there is one thing in mind: to win on Saturday.

Just over one month ago—at SEC Media Day—Clark Lea announced that Wright would be the starter for the 2022 Commodores. Being named the QB1 before the season began may be an honor for Wright, but his mindset remains the same. 

“It means a lot,” Wright said when asked about the significance of going into the first game of the season as the starting quarterback. “The preparation is always the same: Starter, backup, 3 [or] 4. That is the identity of our room. We prepare like we are going out there first. That’s really the only difference. I’m just a fresh guy taking a snap this year.”

Practicing on Monday morning was vital for the student-athletes because they were able to get back in the groove of being on a football field. The practice also provided a chance for Vanderbilt to continue familiarizing themselves with the schemes that will be implemented in Saturday’s game against Hawaii. 

“I think today, operationally wise [was about] just getting our feet wet,” Wright said. “We had a long flight so just getting back in the rhythm and understanding what the scheme is what we’ll work on the rest of the week and we’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

Right around when practice began on Monday, SEC Network announced that they will shoot SEC Nation on Vanderbilt’s campus on Sept. 10, when the Commodores host No. 22 Wake Forest at 11 a.m. CDT. It marks the first time since Aug. 31, 2019, when Georgia defeated the Commodores 30-6, that SEC Nation will come to West End.