OL Gray Ready for Maryland

Friendship Collegiate's four-star offensive lineman says he's ready to "ball out" for the Terps.

Derwin Gray is a confident young man, and rightfully so.

The 2013 Maryland commit is ranked seventh in the nation in his position, and the Terps coaching staff plan to hand him the starting spot at left tackle upon his entrance to College Park.

“They say that they want me to come in really ready as a freshman next year and hit the weight room hard,” Gray said.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound lineman says that the coaches are going to move current left tackle Mike Madaras to the right side so Gray can play his preferred position on the quarterback's blind side. However, he explains that this preference is not due to any lack of versatility, rather, it's because of the significance of the position.

“I'm comfortable at left tackle or right tackle it really doesn't matter. A true baller can play any position on the offensive line, and I believe I'm a true baller,” Gray said. “[Left tackle] is the money position, and I want my position at left tackle.”

Gray's commitment to Maryland is solid, displayed by the fact that he has been to every Maryland home game so far.

“Maryland's making good progress,” Gray said, while pointing out the fact that many of their losses have been in close games this season, particularly NC State and Boston College. “We're losing some tough games where, back in the day, we got blown out by those teams.”

“By next year when I get there, we're gonna get moving in a good direction,” Gray said, who expects Maryland to be battling for the ACC title next season.

One major factor that drew the DC prospect to Maryland was it's close proximity. Gray feels like he can adapt well to life at College Park, and he said that being on campus makes him feel “at home.” But beyond campus life, his relationship with Terps Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley is what sealed the deal.

“We have a tight relationship,” Gray said when referring to Locksley. He added that they both hail from Prince George's County and have maintained a strong connection with each other in the months before and after his commitment.

“I trust him in that he will do everything he says. He'll help me succeed at Maryland [and get] playing time,” Gray said.

Maryland is looking to build a good bond with Friendship Collegiate Academy going forward. Gray is one of three prospects from the 2013 class to commit to Maryland from the school, with linebackers Cavon Walker and Jermaine Carter completing the list.

“I'm excited about playing with them at the next level,” Gray said. “We're going to do big things.”

Maryland also hopes Friendship Collegiate's four-star linebacker Yannick Ngakoue, who de-committed from Terps in the fall, will rejoin the 2013 class.

“Yanni is a close friend, but I want the best thing for [him], whether he goes to South Carolina, West Virginia, or Tennessee” he said. Gray has also voiced his desire for Ngakoue to re-commit to Maryland. He believes that the 13th ranked linebacker in the nation can come to College Park and make “big time plays in the ACC.”

In addition, Gray has also been providing some advice to teammate and top cornerback Jalen Tabor of the 2014 class. Ultimately, however, Gray would like the four-star prospect to choose Maryland when the time comes.

“He's still in the recruiting process, so I may not want him to commit early,” Gray said. “I feel like Maryland would be a good fit for anybody.”

Gray received offers from 11 other schools, including top ACC programs Florida State and Clemson. He plans to take his official visit to Maryland in January prior to national signing day in February.

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