Last week was an eventful one in the recruitment of Detroit Country Day tailback Jonas Gray. Another Big Ten school joined his offer list when Kirk Ferentz officially extended a scholarship on behalf of the Iowa Hawkeyes. He also began to take a more patient view of his recruitment after a trip to Ann Arbor for Tom Lemmings annual photo session.
"He didn't really speak to me individually about when I should make my decision or anything," Gray said. "He was just talking to the group as a whole, telling us all that there was no need to rush in making our decisions. He said that we could wait and make a better decision by gathering more information and seeing what all the schools have to offer."
Though the message wasn't necessarily aimed at Gray personally, he took the advice to heart and began thinking less about trying to make an early choice and more about where he'd fit into the plans of all of the schools on his list, especially Michigan. The powerful youngster made his way back to Ann Arbor for a practice last Tuesday and got a first hand look at just how tenuous the Wolverines running back situation will be not only this season, but next season as well.
"I walked around with the running backs during their drills and all coach Jackson had there was Brandon Minor and Kevin Grady," Gray recalled. "Those were the only the only tailbacks there. They had a guy that is a wrestler that was playing fullback. He was a little tough guy. He was playing fullback and runningback. Then they had Vince Helmuth practicing out there. They had only five backs total…. three fullbacks and two running backs. All they have for sure is this year is three scholarship running backs. When Mike Hart graduates there probably will only be two. He said he has got to get some running backs."
"After that I spoke with Andy Moeller, who is now my recruiter," Gray continued. "I'll be in touch with him more now. Then I spoke with Coach Jackson a little more. I got his phone number and he said we need to be in touch."
The highlight of the afternoon for Gray was his interaction with Lloyd Carr. Michigan's headman offered talented back a few pointers on technique and also gained an appreciation for the youngster's passion for the Maize & Blue.
"Coach Carr came over and spoke to me while the backs were doing drills," said Gray. "He was showing me the proper position to have when you're making a block on a linebacker. Then at the end of everything I got a chance to talk to Coach Carr alone. I said, 'Coach Carr, I know you guys have offered other running backs. I know you guys already have in mind what guys you want.' I said, 'I know I don't have any offer yet…but nobody will work as hard for you as I would.' I told him it would mean a lot to me (to get offered). I grew up watching Michigan football all of my life. I've gone to all of the games since Braylon's freshman year. I said that it would mean a lot to me to put on that jersey and that it would mean a lot for me to play for Michigan."
Upon hearing Gray express himself so openly, Carr appeared extremely impressed.
"He said, 'you have a lot of guts to come up and say that to me. It means a lot.' He said that they will definitely be in touch."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Gray in the coming weeks and months.