February 22, 2007

Top Michigan back talks early recruiting

Jonas Gray rushed for 1,252 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior. Those numbers are impressive. But even more impressive when you consider the fact he split carries with Michigan State bound senior Chris Rucker.

Gray attended the U.S. Army All-American Combine in San Antonio last month and was named first-team all-combine. He tested out with a 4.53-forty, 4.22-shuttle, 35-inch vertical and he did 17 reps of 185 pounds on the bench press at the event.

"Toughness is my best attribute as a football player," said the 5-foot-10, 215-pounder from Detroit (Mich.) Country Day. "Although I shared carries with Chris [Rucker last fall], I am an every down back. I have great stamina and great versatility as a running back."

Also a member of Country Day's basketball team, Gray took a break to cash in on the opportunity of a lifetime. He is currently in San Diego working out with NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson.

"My cousin plays in the NFL for Kansas City and he is good friends with LaDainian Tomlinson so I'm out here in California working out with him right now," Gray explained. "He has this huge hill behind his house and we have been running it every day."

On the recruiting front, Gray has picked up early offers from Michigan State and Colorado.

Illinois, Northwestern, USC, LSU, Alabama, Wisconsin, UCLA and Michigan are among the other colleges showing early interest. "I would love to get an offer from both Michigan and Illinois," he said. "Illinois has been showing a lot of interest because they lost out on Robert Hughes last year. They said they want to sign a bigger running back like myself [this recruiting cycle]."

Gray is going to visit UCLA unofficially today (February 22nd) and he plans to attend Junior Days at Purdue, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Ohio State in March. "I am also going to try to get to Tennessee," he added. "That's kind of far away but I think it might be during our spring break."

Running backs coach Darian Hagan is responsible for Gray's recruitment from the Buffaloes' staff. "Coach Hagan is great," he expressed. "He knows a lot about Detroit and our school because he played with and has been talking a lot with their [Assistant Athletic Director and commentator] Charles Johnson, who went to Country Day. We have a lot in common, Coach Hagan is great."

Gray will be running track this spring, competing in the 100-m, 200-m, 4x1 relay and 4x2 relay. His fastest time in the 100 last spring was 10.55 seconds and his fastest in the 200 was 21.9 seconds.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!