Indiana's No. 1 for 2008?

Bloomington, Ind. – The IU football program has hundreds of players on its 2008 recruiting radar, but only one recruit can top the Hoosiers' wish list - MarQueis Gray. Gray talks to about IU's interest in him, and his interest in the Hoosier program...

Bloomington, Ind. – The IU football program has hundreds of players on its 2008 recruiting radar, but only one recruit can top the Hoosiers' wish list.

That player appears to be 6-4, 205-pound quarterback Marqueis Gray from Indianapolis' Ben Davis H.S. Gray is still some 11 months away from having an opportunity to sign a national letter of intent, but Indiana's interest in him is nothing new.

"They've been showing a lot of interest," Gray said. "They send me mail, they text me, and they let me know I'm their No. 1 guy for 2008 recruiting class. They're the only one that's told me that."

Coach Terry Hoeppner offered Gray a scholarship last summer after getting a chance to watch him during IU's 7-on-7 passing camp. With the IU coaching staff watching, Gray showed off the sort of skills that allowed him to throw for 1,113 yards and 12 touchdowns and rush for 603 yards and another seven scores last fall.

Gray admits the early scholarship offer surprised him, and it's a big reason why Indiana is among the schools he's giving very serious consideration.

"I'm open to all the colleges that are contacting me, but (Indiana) is showing more interest than what others are right now," Gray said.

Gray's primary recruiter has been Billy Lynch, the Hoosiers' wide receiver coach who has played a big role in IU re-establishing itself as an in-state recruiting force. Lynch helped lure top-10 in-state players Max Dedmond, Jeff Boyd and Dennis Zeigler for 2007, and nearly landed Jerimy Finch as well.

Now, Lynch has apparently made Gray his No. 1 target for 2008.

"(Lynch) like another football player," Gray said. "He's a really nice guy and he likes to have fun and doesn't put pressure on you. He's like talking to another one of your friends."

Gray had an opportunity to be around Lynch during a recent trip to Bloomington for IU's junior day. While IU had some 20 in-state players in town for the weekend, Gray said he received plenty of attention from Lynch and the Hoosier staff.

"There were a lot of us there, and the coaches followed us around, and they were acting there weren't any other players there," Gray said. "They kept following myself and (Ben Davis H.S. wide receiver) Tandon Doss around."

While Indiana might have been the first to get their foot in the door, Gray's recruitment figures to heat up over the spring and summer months. He was recently offered a scholarship by Purdue during a trip to West Lafayette for the Boilermakers' junior day, and he continues to get mail from a slew of programs from around the Midwest and nation.

His mobility, size and arm strength give him all the tools to be a special talent at the collegiate level. He's also becoming more well known to programs around the country after he was invited to participate in the U.S. Army Combine last month, an elite camp for rising seniors who figure to be among the country's most coveted recruits.

"When I went down (to the U.S. Army Combine), I knew there would be a lot of great athletes there," Gray said. "And there were a lot of guys that were bigger than me, and I was shocked by that. I hadn't seen 6-7 guys with rocket arms before, and I was thinking, ‘how am I going to compete with this?'"

But Gray held his own, and the trip figures to give him added confidence as he heads into his senior season with aspirations of wining a state championship.

In preparation for his senior season, Gray said he'll run the hurdles in track this spring to work on his speed and flexibility, and he's also spending plenty of time in the weight room as well. He said he'd like to get his weight up to 220 pounds and his bench up to 300. Gray said he's currently at 205 pounds and benching 260. Top Stories