“I’m on punt return. I’m on kick return. Punt cover I’m on the front line, #6, so I either hold them up or go try to block the punt.”
Maybe it’s mere coincidence his position on that team matches his jersey digit, too. Maybe it’s an encouraging sign.
Certainly Gray wants to find work with Bulldog kicking squads, even at the expense and effort of all the extra practice. “But I’m enjoying it,” he said. Gray does have a goodly list of competitors for either return role, fellow receivers and a couple of defensive backs.
Gray is as athletic as any of them, with the straight-line speed and moves in traffic alike. Still a really good return man has something a little special about him, whether genetic or taught. Transfer Gray leans to the latter after comparing himself to senior college peers.
“When I say a lot of guys were the man at their school, I mean it. Everybody, they’re ballers, man! Day-in and day-out they hit it hard every morning. That’s why I really like that I chose to come to Mississippi State. Besides us being family and loyalty, you compete with everybody.”
Sometimes he wins, sometimes not. Gray almost got a practice punt this week. Almost won’t get it. “I’ve still got a lot of things to work on and trying to grasp ahold of.” Though, he adds, what Gray would really like to grasp…is a little sleep.
“The mind is tired, the body is tired. The mind is talking to the body. So you have to figure it out.”