Things had been quiet on the University of Michigan front for Detroit Country Day tailback Jonas Gray in recent weeks. That changed a bit this past weekend, however, when he made his way to Ann Arbor for Tom Lemming's annual photo shot. While in town the talented runner had the opportunity to chat with the Wolverine staff about the status of his recruitment.
"While we were sitting down waiting for other guys to show up, Coach Jackson came over to sit down and we spoke for a minute," Gray recalled. "I was kind of finding out what was going on with the offer. He was telling me about their depth chart. He said right now they only have two definite scholarship running backs for (2008). That puts him in a tough spot where he has to get two this year. Otherwise, they will be in the same position they are in this year if he only gets one. He said if there is talent in our state, they will not miss out on that talent. He told me not to worry about it right now. He said they'll know more soon because they are trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together."
In the meantime, Gray indicated he won't be a stranger in Ann Arbor any longer. He and good friend Boubacar Cissoko may be traveling to campus together a few times in the coming weeks.
"They told me they wanted me to come down for a spring practice, said Gray. "I would have gone Saturday. Boubacar wanted me to go up there with him, but I wasn't able to. We're actually really tight. Down in San Antonio was where we first started getting cool. It's funny because when we first started talking on the phone, it really wasn't about much. Now we can sit down and talk about football or talk about anything. We've gotten real cool. I might get back down there with him. I'm on spring break now, so I'm for sure that I'll make to some practices. There is no doubt in my mind about that."
If everything goes according to plan, Ann Arbor won't be Gray's only destination during his time off. He hopes to squeeze in three other trips over the next two weeks as well.
"I'm going to definitely try to go down to Florida," he said. "I'm just trying to figure out what's going on with my track schedule during spring break. My coach really doesn't know what he wants us to do over the break yet, and I don't want to miss anything since I just came in after basketball season was over. Once I figure that out, I'll have a better idea about when I'll go. I'm also going to go to the Parisi speed school. It's a speed school in New York. All of the NFL players go there. I'm going to go there for a couple of days. I also want to go to Penn State."
Gray, who currently holds offers from Michigan State, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois and Colorado, had recently given strong consideration to making an early commitment to one of those schools after tripping to their campuses during the offseason. His recent Florida offer and pending visit to Gainesville made the Gators the likely benefactors of his change in plans. Fortunately for the other schools on his list, he has once again rethought things.
"That's not a possibility," Gray said regarding a possible commitment on his unofficial visit to Florida. "I thought about it and I spoke with Tom Lemming about it and he said there's no rush. He said it's good not to do it early so you can see where everybody else goes and what players I'll be playing with. He told me to just wait and see. If I get picked for the Army All-American game, I'll probably choose there."
At this point Gray still has a long list of suitors, but he hopes to have it pared down sometime in the next few months.
"Right now I like Penn State, Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Florida, Minnesota, and LSU," said Gray. "Probably come July I'm going to know a lot more. I'll narrow it down then. I'm going to try to trim it down to seven… five officials and my two-instate schools."