This is a big week for 2016 Madison (Miss.) Central junior Grayson Gunter, but not because of football related activities.
Thursday, Gunter and his teammates will take the basketball floor in the state semifinals, looking to advance to Saturday’s state championship game in Jackson.
At 6-foot-6, 230-pounds, Gunter is a center on the hardwood but tight end on the football field, currently holding offers from Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic and South Alabama following a strong junior season.
“I felt I really improved because we had several injuries,” Gunter said. “I played a lot of different positions and assumed more of a leadership role as an underclassman.
“I had to help out some other guys as well, playing tight end on the line, splitting out to the slot, and even playing outside receiver.”
“Coach (Jay) Harbaugh said he wanted me to come up and visit Ann Arbor and he said he was going to come down here and watch me practice too,” Gunter said.
“He followed me on twitter last week and he messaged me and told me to call him so I did yesterday,” Gunter added. “We spoke for about 20 minutes and he told me to keep in touch and wants to keep talking to me.”
Although the conversation was brief, Gunter says he felt very comfortable with Harbaugh who, at 25 years of age, can really connect with this generation of recruits.
“We related really well,” Gunter said. “He’s a younger guy and he talked to me about basketball and about how whenever he comes down here what are some places that are good to eat. We just related really well.”
Michigan’s plan for the tight end position hasn’t been fully established publicly but if history is any indication, Jim Harbaugh plans to use several looks including multiple tight end sets.
If that’s the case, Gunter feels he could fill several different roles in Michigan’s offensive system.
“He said he really liked how I could get in the slot and catch balls out there but I could also play actual tight end and block and get in pass routes at the tight end position,” Gunter said. “He said he liked my versatility that I could do both of those things.”
Growing up in SEC country, Gunter is used to watching very intense, well-executed football action.
Although Michigan hasn’t been able to play at that same level in recent years, Gunter knows what the Wolverines football program used to be about.
“I know Michigan, of course these past few years they haven’t been as good but they’ve always been a football powerhouse,” he said.
“The name Michigan speaks for itself as far as tradition and winning ways and culture.”