Manchester standout athlete Ethan Wright has committed to play football on scholarship at Duke University.

Wright, who will be a senior in the 2019-2020 school year, plays running back, wide receiver, linebacker and defensive back for Manchester coach Jim France.

“I knew with Duke that I would have an opportunity to excel in football as a player at running back or safety, and then maybe even go to the NFL after that,” Wright said.

“Duke is a great school academically. Getting a degree from Duke is something that is prestigious everywhere.”

Wright, who is 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, said Duke coach David Cutcliffe is recruiting him as an athlete. He has a 3.5 GPA and plans to major in business administration and minor in accounting.

Wright scored 258 points during the 2018 football season with 40 touchdowns and nine two-point conversions. He led the Panthers (9-4, 5-2 PAC-7) to a Division V regional final appearance with 280 rushes for 2,574 yards and 33 touchdowns, 23 receptions for 411 yards and five touchdowns and one touchdown pass on offense, and contributed 136 tackles (36 solos), three interceptions and one fumble recovery on defense.

“I think Ethan will have a great opportunity to play at Duke,” France said. “That coaching staff is going to be there for awhile, and obviously he is going to get a great education when he graduates from there. I think that was an important factor in his deciding to go there.”

Wright thanked his family, friends and coaches for their support.

Wright scored a single-season school-record 272 points during the 2017 football season as Manchester (9-3, 7-0) won the PAC-7 title and competed in the Division V playoffs. He totaled 287 carries, 2,468 yards and 32 touchdowns rushing and had 28 catches for 366 yards and eight touchdowns receiving on offense. His defensive numbers included 122 total tackles (19 solos), four sacks, three fumble recoveries and one fumble forced. He gained 228 yards on nine punt/kick returns and took one back for a touchdown.

“Our coaches are very happy for Ethan,” France said. “He represents our school very well. He is a first-class kid.”

Wright also held scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Toledo, Akron, Kent State, Ball State, Ohio, Bowling Green, Liberty, Indiana, Northwestern, Minnesota and Rutgers.

Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan and Michigan State also expressed an interest.

Wright has earned three varsity letters apiece in football, basketball and track and field at Manchester.

Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MBeavenABJ