Charon (Oh) tight end Andrew Gray made his first trip to Maryland last Thursday, and one trip was all he needed.
"Honestly I just couldn't say no," Gray said. "I am very excited about choosing Maryland. It is a great school and I loved it there when I visited. I am very lucky to have this opportunity."
During his visit on Thursday June 13, Gray got a chance to see everything Maryland had to offer.
"It was a pretty busy day. We got there around 8 am and did a tour of the campus, met with the academic advisors and saw the athletic facilities," Gray said. "They talked a lot about academics and all the different types of support they have for the players."
Gray was impressed with the campus, but it was the conversations he had with the coaching staff that really stood out to him.
"That's honestly one of the main reasons I picked them," Gray said. "I didn't want to go to school where my coaches would feel like strangers. I am going to be spending a lot of time around those guys, so I had to make sure I would enjoy spending a lot of time with them."
The Chardon tight end has already developed a great relationship with his recruiter Greg Gattuso and during his visit he also got a chance to sit down with tight ends coach John Dunn and head coach Randy Edsall.
"We [Dunn and I] sat down in his office and he showed me some plays. He showed me how they wanted use me," Gray said. "They wanted someone who could run and block. I am a great blocker but I can also catch the ball, so they really like that."
While Coach Dunn focused on football, Edsall's message was more personal.
"I liked how he cared about the individual person as well as the team," Gray said. "It is not just all about football with him, he is about making you a better man. "
After spending the Day at College Park, Gray and his parents did some sight seeing in the nation's capital.
"We actually went and checked out the White House, that was pretty awesome. I had never seen it before," Gray said. "That whole area was just really nice. It was a pretty awesome experience."
Gray was blown away by his visit, but he still wasn't ready to commit on the spot.
"I didn't think it would be a smart thing for me to do to make a decision on the spot," Gray said. "It is a pretty big decision. I mean it's my only college choice so I wanted to let everything sink in before I did anything."
Gray took a few days to think about his experience before pulling the trigger.
"I called Coach Gattuso last night about 7:30 and I just sort of talked to him about how much I enjoyed my visit," Gray said. "Then I just told him I wanted to commit.
"I think I caught him off guard. He was sort of shocked," Gray said. "He was really happy though and he said the next four or five years will definitely be a good time."
While Gattuso might have been caught off guard, head coach Randy Edsall had a hunch Gray might end up a Terp.
"He [Edsall] was really excited and he said he sort of knew from the way I bonded those guys when I was down there," Gray said. "I was pumped to tell him. It's a big weight off my back too. I didn't want to have to deal with making a decision and everything during the season."
Maryland has not had much success recruiting in the Midwest over the years, but now that the Terps are moving to the Big Ten, their luck could be changing.
"Maryland moving to the Big Ten is definitely big," Gray said. "I am glad because it will be easier for my family to go to all those games since they are right around where I live."
He added, "Actually the Big Ten games will probably be closer for them than my home games at Maryland."
The distance did not dampen the excitement for Gray's parents either.
"It isn't too bad. It was less than six hours driving," Gray said. "They really liked the place and everything they had to offer so they were just as excited as me about the decision. "
So what's next for the newest Terp commit?
"I just want to focus on my senior year, I know it will be an exciting year," Gray said. "Our coaches pretty much have a great workout program. We have a whole off-season lifting program. We lift three days a week, do agilities and a competition every week. So I will definitely be working hard."
Gray plans to return to College Park for his official visit although right now he is not exactly sure when that will take place.
Gray "Just Couldn't Say No"
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