Gray Emerges as a Top Irish Target

Gary Gray of Richland Northeast high school (Columbia, S.C.) is a dynamic player. His quickness and burst make him a dangerous player when he gets the ball in his hands. But his ability to lock onto receivers is the skill that college coaches covet. The Notre Dame staff has seen enough and they have pegged him as one of their top cornerback prospects for 2007.

There aren't a lot of defensive backs in high school that jump out at you on film, but Gary Gray (5-10.5 165 pounds) is one of those players. The Irish need to continue to improve their athleticism on defense and you do that through recruiting.

"I would love to play for a coach like coach Weis," Gray responded when asked if he had interest in Notre Dame. "He has a winning tradition. He's done it in the NFL and he's doing in college right now. They have a good academic background they have a great tradition. The defense is really aggressive and it (his interest) has a lot to do with the winning tradition.

"I got the (Notre Dame) offer letter in the mail on Monday," Gray said.

A scholarship offer this early in the recruiting process would indicate that Gray is one of Notre Dame's primary targets at cornerback. Another indication of Gray's importance came during a phone conversation.

"Coach Frye brought me in the office and I talked to him on the phone," Gray recalled of his conversation with Charlie Weis. "He's a pretty start forward guy. He told me what he was going to do as far as recruiting me personally. I really took a liking to that. I don't think any other head coach is personally recruiting me, it's always an assistant coach or a defensive back coach.

"I've been text messaging him for a while," Gray said. "I told him that I'd be going up there the first week of March. I'll also be attending South Carolina's junior day on February 25."

Gray already has a strong list of early offers from Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Louisville, South Carolina, Clemson and Tennessee. While he will be making a trip to Notre Dame and South Carolina, Gray is still keeping his options open.

"I haven't narrowed my list down yet," Gray explained when his top five schools. "But it's probably Notre Dame, Texas, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, Auburn, Maryland, Louisville, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina State."

As a junior, Gray compiled 1,500 total yards on offense and 11 touchdowns. On defense he had 65 tackles, four interceptions and 19 passes broken up. He returned one interception 65 yards for a touchdown.


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