There are only a few recruits that Notre Dame is looking at for the 2008 recruiting class and running back Cyrus Gray (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) is one of them. Gray had high expectations of his official visit and he didn't come away disappointed.
"It went well," Gray said of his official visit last weekend. "When I got in Friday, I got to meet with the coaches and look around campus a little bit. I went to the pep rally. It was an emotional pep rally, because of Robert Hughes' brother had passed. They had a lot of fan support, and I really liked that. Me a Gary Gray got to hang out… I really enjoyed it.
"On Saturday, I woke up and had breakfast with the coaches. We had a discussion about me fitting in at Notre Dame. I got a chance to really talk to coach Haywood and get to know him. I really liked him. I got a chance to see more of the campus and I got to see the band play and do their walk to the stadium. The campus was organized and the student body is great and it seems like they really support each other. It felt like home."
"Then I went to the game and I got a chance to meet with Darius Fleming and Steve Filer," Gray explained. "The atmosphere was great. The fan support was great, there were a lot of people. Notre Dame never gave up and they fought hard. Even though they didn't come out with a victory, they kept their heads up and they continued to work hard. [After the game] I went into the locker room after the coaches talked to the team. I noticed that no one had their head down."
"Later on, I got to hang out with Armando Allen. Even though I had just met him, it seemed like I already knew him. All the players were like that. It didn't seem like they were random people or guys that I just met. I just felt really comfortable around them. I really liked them and they all seemed like they wanted something in life.
"We hung out with Jimmy Clausen. I really liked him. He was really outgoing and he always had a smile on his face. I got to talk to James Aldridge, and Robert Hughes. We chilled and just went back to the dorms. I think I'd have fun playing with those guys. They look like they're ready to get back on track. Once they get some more experience under their belt I think they'll get it together. I definitely could play with those guys.
On Sunday, Cyrus met with the various academic representatives and then he had a one-on-one meeting with coach Weis.
"He thinks that I'm the type of guy that can fit into Notre Dame," Gray replied when asked about his conversation with the Notre Dame head coach. "He said that he can see me coming there and playing. He thinks that they'll get on track and win more next year and then get back to where they'll be competing for the national championship.
"We talked about how I'd fit in with the offense. Me and Jonas [Gray] are different backs. He's more of a power runner, and I'm probably more of a speed guy. I can run up the middle and outside. I'm sure he can get to the outside as well, but I'm smaller than he is and I'm probably more of a speed guy. It's kind of like how they use Armando and James or Robert. I really liked the way they used both backs. They showed the defense different looks. They substituted guys and kept them fresh. Both guys ended up have pretty good nights."
The Irish recently received a commitment from Michigan running back, Jonas Gray. If the Irish could add Cyrus as well, the Irish roster would be stocked with talent in the backfield.
"I don't think that there are too many guys [in the backfield]," Cyrus explained. "I feel that I have the ability to come in and compete. I wouldn't mind coming in behind Armando and competing, but I would also look at it as a period to come in and learn and adjust to the college game. It isn't high school, so I'd be getting more experience and it could help me in the end."
This visit was Cyrus' first of five official visits. He only has one other date set, but he intends on taking all of his visits before he makes his college decision.
"I possibly could commit before I went all of my visits," Gray explained "But I want to make sure I see as many places as I can, because I don't want to have second thoughts. I'm going to schedule a visit to Cal after my season. I have one scheduled for Louisville on December 7, and then I'll take visits to Kansas and to Florida. I'm just going to keep my options open and keep my eyes open. I know there are a lot of great programs out there and I just have to get out and look at them."