Torrian Gray never imagined he would be coaching back in his home state.
Never "really gave it a thought until this opportunity presented itself," said Gray. "But it’s pretty neat to be able to come back to your home state and coach at a university with this type of reputation. It’s been cool.”
Gray moved to Florida after coaching a decade at his alma mater, Virginia Tech. Although he is at a new school, the defensive back coach has not changed his coaching style.
"I'm loud; I'm fiery; I'm boisterous; I will be demanding if I have to be," he said. "I will push any buttons I need to push to get the guys going in the right direction."
The Florida secondary have embraced his style.
"I haven't had a problem with their effort which has been awesome," Gray said. "The most impressive thing about this group is they are so competitive and are willing to work. It's really been a pleasure for me to walk into that."
"Coach Gray is teaching us a lot of great things, things we haven’t learned in the past," said junior defensive back Jalen Tabor. "A lot of new stuff that we’ve used and will be very effective for us this year.
"The biggest difference is that he’s teaching us to play faster," added junior defensive back Quincy Wilson. "We’ve got all the talent but we’re learning how to play smarter, reading certain things, getting better, playing faster so we can make plays on the ball.”
“I thought we were good in some forms of it," said Gray about the scrimmage. "Some forms of it, the offense had some explosive plays, which we’ve obviously got to clean up. Overall, I think we’re going to like what we’re going to put on film with the understanding that we’ve got a lot of work to still do.
“The secondary is involved in those [long plays]," he added. "I was pleased that we had some turnovers, but I’m also going to watch on film what we’ve got to correct the things that gave up explosive plays.”
On Jalen Tabor: “He’s right in there with the mix of those guys, the Brandon Flowers, the Kendall Fullers, the Kyle Fullers. They all have got an ‘it’ factor about them. They’ve all got a high football IQ. He’s right along with those guys.”
On Chauncey Gardner: "Chauncey is a freshman, he is a mid-year guy and the 11 or 12 practices we have had up to his point he has really grown, which is what you hope for. I'm really excited about Chauncey's upside. Right now he is green in some areas and still learning, but he really has a talented upside that you saw and we are excited about."
On Quincy Wilson: "Quincy is going to be an integral part obviously. He was battling a groin surgery he was coming off of, so he hasn't been full speed until like the last two practices. Just seeing his upside when he is full speed, he is healthy and confident, I am really excited to see when he knows he is going to be the guy this year."
On Marcus Maye Returning: "Huge. Huge. Marcus is a very talented player. He is a great communicator back there in the back end. The fact that he gives us another tremendous guy back in the secondary it's huge for us."
On Duke Dawson: “Duke’s been awesome. He’s explosive, a very good player. He’s learning, gaining confidence. You can see him growing. I tell you, I’m excited about Duke’s progression.”