Three Schools Stand Out for Gray

Adding big time offers is becoming a daily routine for 2017 La Vergne (Tenn.) safety Maleik Gray. Michigan recently threw its name in the mix for the four-star standout, but there are tough hurdles that the Wolverines will have to overcome to move onto a leaderboard that is currently occupied by three schools.

Sam Webb:  You’re getting pretty used to it now, but I’m curious as to your reaction when you got the word from Michigan?

Maleik Gray:  “It was a big reaction because how I didn’t think they had any interest in me and I didn’t know that they did.  They just came out of nowhere (laughter). I talked to them over the phone.  It was my first time talking to a Michigan coach. I think they saw some of my film and my head coach had contacted them through my coach’s phone.”

Sam Webb:  Do you remember which coach or coaches you talked to from Michigan?

Maleik Gray:  “Coach Partridge. He seems like a very energetic guy.  He seems like he has a lot of interest in me and he seems like a pretty cool guy.  We were just talking about a lot of things, not just football, academics and stuff like that.  We were talking about the stadium, having the biggest stadium in the college.”

Sam Webb:  Before Michigan offered, did you have any schools that were sticking out on your list?

Maleik Gray:  “The schools on my list right now would be LSU, (Tennessee), and Florida State.”

Sam Webb:  What is it that is making those schools stick out?  Is it just because those schools have been on you the longest?

Maleik Gray:  “Yes sir.  That and they show a lot of love to me, but that’s their job.  I also feel some type of vibe down at Florida State that I love, just being in Florida.  Also, the type of competitiveness that the team plays (with).  I love Florida State.  I want to be in some program like that.  That’s why I’m going to wait until my senior year to make my decision, because you never know there may be some…I may end up changing my decision, but right now my heart is at Florida State.  I still like (Tennessee).  They showed me a lot of love.  With me being an in-state athlete, they show me a lot of love too.”

Sam Webb:  Did you grow up a Tennessee fan?

Maleik Gray:  “No sir.  I was actually born in Mississippi and I moved to Tennessee after Hurricane Katrina.”

Sam Webb:  Describe your game for me. Give me a scouting report.

Maleik Gray:  “I would say I’m like much explosive, athletic and fast.  I will get the ball at its highest peak.  I’m going to go get it and make the plays that you need to make.  I’ll be there.  Just a dog.”

Sam Webb:  What is your height, weight and forty time?

Maleik Gray:  “I’m 6-2 and weight is 200 or 205 and my forty would be a 4.46 I think.”

Sam Webb:  What if anything do you know about Michigan and what if anything do you like about Michigan at this point?

Maleik Gray:  “I really don’t know much about Michigan, but I know they have one of the biggest stadiums in college.  It would nice to hear and all those fans out there cheering you on.”

Sam Webb:  Let’s pretend for a second you’re getting ready to sit down and pick a school, when you do that what are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?

Maleik Gray:  “First and foremost academics.  Being a student-athlete, you can’t play ball without being smart.  Books come first.  Then just the vibe of being at the college.  When I make my official visits because I want to know what sticks out to me at each and every college.  I want to take a trip out west to see what it is like out there.  If something out west, with me being in the south, I can visit most of the SEC schools.  I would just like to see stuff that I like, something new.  Also the competitiveness, being in the SEC, it is the toughest conference, so that also plays a major factor.”

Sam Webb:  Is distance from home going to be a big factor for you?

Maleik Gray:  “Yes sir, but at the end of the day it is my decision.”

Sam Webb:  What about weather? You’re a Mississippi guy and now a Tennessee guy. Could you or would you deal with the cold?

Maleik Gray:  “Yes sir, I love playing in heat.  I would hate to go play up north because it’s so cold and it is hard to play in cold weather.”

Sam Webb:  Well you mentioned visits.  Did Coach Partridge talk to you at all about getting up (to Michigan) for a visit?

Maleik Gray:  “Yes sir, as soon as possible. I hope to take a trip to the (spring) game. I don’t know when, but I hope to take a trip up there soon.”

Sam Webb:  If you had to guess, do you think it would make it to the fall for a game or do you think you might make it up over the spring or summer?

Maleik Gray:  “It’ll probably have to be in the season.  I have to sit down and talk to my mom about it.”

Sam Webb:  What schools have you visited already?

Maleik Gray:  “Florida State, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi State, (Tennessee), and Vanderbilt.”

Sam Webb:  What about timeline for making a decision.  Are you going to be one of those guys who waits all the way until signing day of your senior year to make a choice?

Maleik Gray:  “That’s what I want to do, and I think that would be best for me.  I’m kind of sticking with that.”

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