One of the top prospects in the country in the rising-senior class, La Vergne (Tenn.) athlete Maleik Gray has a coast-to-coast offer list and has had top options for some time. But the Southeast programs on it have moved into prime position to contend for his commitment.
The No. 4 safety projection by Scout has long favored the in-state Tennessee Volunteers and Florida State Seminoles, but a Saturday trip to Tuscaloosa has the Alabama Crimson Tide now in his top three as well.
"It was great, I loved it there," Gray said. "Just a great place for me to be successful as a young man and as a football player. They told me they were going at me hard.
"They like my size, my speed, physical, how I can play man and just being able to play everywhere."
The USC Trojans were once on the short list for the No. 50 recruit in the country, but their September 3 opponent and specifically the head coach put a dent on the pursuit.
"Nick Saban," Gray said when detailing stand-out moments. "Amazing because I never thought one day in my life I would be sitting in front of one of the best coaches in the NCAA."
It was the second Alabama trip as a prospect for Gray, who was in town for camp last summer. While he has the top group of UT, FSU and UA, he admits he doesn't yet have a decision timetable.