Thursday, April 24, 2014

Evergreen's Deatrich Wise was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 1988

Evergreen's Deatrich Wise in 1991.
This coming Saturday marks the 26th anniversary of an important sports-related event in the history of Conecuh County. Twenty-six years ago Saturday, on April 26, 1988, the Seattle Seahawks selected Deatrich Wendell Wise of Evergreen in the ninth round of the NFL Draft. At the time, Wise was a senior at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.

In his heyday, Wise was a force to be reckoned with at Evergreen High School, where he played on the offensive and defensive lines and was a talented kicker. During his high school years, Wise often led Evergreen each week in total tackles, and there were more than a few games in which his field goals were Evergreen’s only points. During Evergreen High School’s athletic banquet in February 1983, Wise not only received the Defensive Lineman of the Year Award, but he also received the Wendell Hart Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player.

After high school, Wise went on to play for Jackson State. During his time there, the Blue Bengal Tigers dominated the South West Athletic Conference, and Wise collected numerous honors and awards during his years there. With Wise on the team, Jackson State made the NCAA Division I-AA football playoffs in 1985, 1986 and 1987. In fact, Wise, who played nose tackle, was so good that he was selected to travel with the SWAC Football Conference Press Tour in August 1987 and often appeared on television, speaking on behalf of his team and conference.

In 1988, Seattle picked Wise seventh in the ninth round of the draft (242nd overall), and he played for Seattle for only one season. In 1989, he played for the New Orleans Saints before moving on to the Canadian Football League, where he spent four years as a defensive lineman for the British Columbia Lions. After that, Wise returned to Jackson State, where he served as an assistant coach in 1992 and 1993.

Since then, Wise has served as a head coach and an assistant coach at a number of locations, including Portsmouth High School in Virginia, Delaware State University and for the Norfolk Nighthawks, the Tampa Bay Storm, the Grand Rapids Rampage and the Dallas Desperados of the arena leagues. He also coached football and track in the Birmingham area during the 1990s. He is currently the Director of Player Programs and coaches the offensive linemen, defensive linemen, fullbacks and linebackers for the Desperados.

As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and many of you may be interested to know that Wise’s son, Deatrich Wise Jr., currently plays defensive end for the Arkansas Razorbacks. At 6-foot-6 and 267-pounds, Deatrich Wise Jr. played in all 12 games for the Razorbacks last season as a sophomore. As a high school senior at Hebron High School in Carrollton, Texas, Deatrich Wise Jr. was one of the most highly recruited defensive end prospects in the nation, and he received scholarship offers from Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Arizona, Purdue and Wake Forest.

If you’re watching Arkansas next fall, keep your eyes open for Deatrich Wise Jr., who wears jersey No. 48. More than likely, it won’t be long before you’ll probably be seeing him in another jersey, because there’s already talk circulating about him departing college early for the NFL Draft. 

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