With the Irish struggling on the field it is difficult to sell the program to recruits, but Cyrus Gray (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) appears to be very high on the Irish. In, fact, Gray has decided to take an official visit to Notre Dame.
"I'm planning on coming up to Notre Dame November 2 for the Navy game," Gray responded when asked about his plans to make a trip to South Bend. "I really like Notre Dame. When I get to there, I'm going to look at everything. I know it's way different than what I'm used to down here in DeSoto, Texas. It's a Catholic school. I want to get a chance to look around and have some fun. I want to watch the game and see how the stadium and the crowd are.
"I watched the highlights of the UCLA game, but I got to watch the Penn State game and the Michigan game. They are having a tough season, but they're young and they look like they're improving. They'll get things together a go on a roll."
Gray isn't a prospect that is flying under the radar. When you're one of the top running backs in the state of Texas, you can play just about anywhere. The Irish coaching has stayed in touch with Gray and let him know that he would be an important recruit to sign.
"I get a chance to talk to coach Ianello just about every week," Cyrus said. "Coach Weis just called and left a message. I haven't had a chance to talk to him, but hopefully I'll talk to him soon. They told me a long time ago that I was one of their top targets. We talk about the school and the atmosphere and about how they work with the players. They've said that they're having a bumpy road, but they'll bounce back. All they need to do is take it one step at a time. It won't do any harm [to their chances]. They have some freshmen playing. They have a young quarterback. They just need the experience. Next year they'll do well and then in a couple years they'll be playing for the national championship.
Besides his visit to Notre Dame, Cyrus has planned three of his remaining four official visits.
"I already know I'm visiting Notre Dame, Florida, Cal and Louisville," Gray explained. "I don't have a top five right now though. I really have about 1O schools that I'm still looking at; Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Florida, Louisville, Penn State, Cal, Miami, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Arizona. I've already had a chance to visit some of those other schools. They're closer and I was able to drive around to see them. I want to take my official visits to schools that are farther away.
"I'll probably narrow it down to about eight schools fairly soon. I want to play the season and watch those teams play and grow. If I feel comfortable at a school and I think it's the place that I want to be I'm could just commit then. I won't have to wait until national signing day or do the national TV thing."
Gray would like to take several visits during his season, but it will be difficult to make trips if DeSoto keeps going on the pave that they're currently running.
"We're doing great as a team," Gray said. "We're 4-1 and we just got a big victory. We played Cedar Hill and we beat them, 37-31. It was a great game. The stadium was sold out and it was on TV. We just want to get better as a team as the season moves on.
"I think I've rushed for over 900 yards and 12 touchdowns. I've thrown for about 200 yards and a touchdown. Teams have been crowding the line of scrimmage and putting nine guys in the box. When I get to the line they'll call out my name and call out different plays that we run. Teams have been focusing on me, but that's good. The whole thing is about the team. That just means that we get to spread the ball around and get everyone involved. We have two running backs that have come in and done really well, they've been able to open everything up this year."