The buzz about Rashan Gary’s talent has been blaring loudly for quite some time, but last week at The Opening it got even louder. A jaw-dropping performance propelled him up the 2016 rankings, all the way to #1. The five-star lineman checked in at 6-4, 278 lbs. and ran a 4.74 forty and a 4.32 shuttle… and that was just for starters. He was dominant in one-on-ones as well.
“Gary is ridiculously gifted, and he showed what that means when combined with hard work,” Scout.com East Regional Manager Brian Dohn said afterward. “The scary part with Gary is still raw when it comes to technique.”
That rawness clearly has dimmed the excitement about his future, which explains why his recruitment is getting more crowded by the day. Now he is ready to start finding out more about his suitors. That means taking more visits.
The Wolverines have been working hard to get the talented youngster to Ann Arbor since they extended an offer to him last winter. While it’s clear he has started to form a connection with his primary Michigan recruiter, Roy Manning, he is still in the fact-finding stage when it comes to his feelings about the Maize & Blue.
“I don’t know that much about them, that’s why Coach Manning said, ‘you’ve just got to come and see it for yourself because it is a great place to see,” Gary stated. “Right now they’re the same as every other school. I’ll call them maybe once a week when I have time. The relationship is building like everybody else.”
“(Manning) is a cool coach and I’m starting to get a feel for him and he’s getting a feel for me. He just say enjoy the process because you only live once.”
That’s very similar to the advice Manning gave former Paramus Catholic star Jabrill Peppers when they were getting to know one another. Time will tell if Gary will form as strong of a relationship with Manning as Peppers did. For now his bigger concern is putting in the work necessary to maximize his game. If he does that he just may become good enough to compete with Peppers for the distinction of the best player in school history, and by extension, one of the best ever in the Garden State.
“It would be nice to have it, to be Paramus Catholic’s #1 player,” Gary said with a smile. (Peppers) is good. He’s a hard worker. His hard work paid off and you seen it on the field.”
“Don’t sleep on me. Don’t sleep on me even though I’m young. I’ve got power, got some moves. Like you seen (at The Opening), some people thought I was soft and then I had to hit them with a bull rush. Just don’t sleep on me because I’m coming.”
Figuring out where he is coming from is part of what makes him so scary.
“I’m 290, so I’m a tweener,” he said. “If you want me at the edge, I’ll go get the quarterback. If you want me inside, I’ll go do that too.”
A program that will take full advantage of that kind of versatility is one of a few of Gary’s most important decision criteria.
“The ability to get me close enough to play at the next level,” said Gary listing the factors that will play most prominently into his choice. “The academics number one, because if it there are not good academics I’m not going because my mom won’t have it. I also want to see if I can live for the three to four years that I’m going to be there.”
Mom’s input will be key, and she has made it a point to tell her son to remove distance from home from his list of considerations.
“Me and my mom talk about this a lot,” said Gary. “She was like, ‘if it is instate, you stay… and if it is out of state you go… I’m still going to come to your games. She said she wants to move wherever I go, but we’ll see how that goes.”
Gary plans to take his time figuring it out.
“I would (wait until) signing day (to commit), but that depends,” he said. “Once I start chopping down my list when I take the visits, my commitment might come sooner than later. Right now, I’m shooting for signing day.”