"Notre Dame Was Where I Wanted To Be"

Soon after Notre Dame received their 20th commitment from wide receiver Michael Floyd, the Irish landed another big-time recruit on Tuesday, when running back Jonas Gray of Detroit Country Day School (Beverly Hills, Mich.) called the Irish coaching staff and informed them that he wanted to be a part of 2008 Notre Dame recruiting class.

It had been several months since Notre Dame had received a commitment for this year's recruiting class. After hosting several top players for the USC weekend, the Irish land two outstanding players in Jonas Gray (5-foot-11, 210 pounds) and Michael Floyd. Gray had been waiting for a Notre Dame offer for some time, and he finally received it during his visit last weekend.

"I got there Saturday about noon and watched the game," Gray responded when asked about his visit to Notre Dame over the weekend. "After the game I meet with coach Weis and he said that they could use me in their offense and he talked about the things that I could do in the offense. That night I hung out with some of the guys that I had met before like Jimmy Clausen, Armando Allen, and Gary Gray. I hung out with those guys and had a lot of fun.

"On Sunday I went back to the office and spoke with coach Weis, and that's when he gave me my official offer letter. He said I could take it if I wanted it. He said that I could get an education at other schools, but this was a $250,000 education that I'd receive there. That kind of put it perspective.

"He told me what he liked about me and why they hadn't offered me earlier," Gray explained. "He said that they wanted me to come to camp [over the summer], but that hadn't worked out. He said that he wanted to see me in person before he offered me. I understood that. I understood that they had a business decision to make. I didn't hold a grudge, and I understood. He said that he wouldn't give me a timetable and that I could make a decision when I wanted to.

"After that I talked to coach Brown. He said a lot of things that coach Weis had said. He talked about the things I could do for the offense, and what type of things that could happen to me down the road and what an education from Notre Dame could do for me."

At the time Jonas was still committed to Nebraska, but after taking time to consider his options he realized that he had a change of heart. That is when he called the Nebraska coaching staff and the Notre Dame coaches to inform them of his decision.

"When I got back home and had a chance to think about things I knew what I wanted to do," Gray explained. "It really can down to how comfortable I was at Notre Dame. I felt that Notre Dame was the place that I wanted to be. I felt the other guys, the recruits and the players that are already there have the same goals. We all want to be successful socially, academically and on the field. I want to be around guys that are like me. It isn't like there aren't guys like that at other places, but I just knew that Notre Dame was where I wanted to be from the beginning. To be able to go where I wanted to go from the very beginning is something special for me."

Notre Dame has a group of young running backs that he'll have to compete with next year, but that didn't deter Gray.

"I feel comfortable with the running back situation," Jonas said. "There's going to be competition, but with a lot of competition, that raises everybody's level of play. I think Armando is a speed back, and James Aldridge and Robert Hughes are the big backs. I think I'm a perfect combination of the two. I think I'll have a good chance to come in and compete right away. I'm not saying that I'll start right away, but I'm competitive and I have confidence in what I can do, so I think I can get in there and contribute. I'm ready for college football.

"We're struggling defensively and offensively, but we're young. We'll mature every year and get better. I've looked at the [recruiting] class, and there are some good guys in the class. We're loaded defensively. I see where the program is headed and it's headed in the right direction.

"I'm going to recruit some guys," Gray said. "I'm going to get to know the guys that are already committed, but right now my main goal is to win a state championship."

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