Rebs getting serious with Florida athlete

The 6' 2", 200 pound East Gadsden (3A) product was happy with his junior season but is looking for even bigger things for his last go around on the high school level.


"I had a real good junior year," added Lance Ray. "I had a great start and a great finish. I got thrown to a lot. I think I finished with 21 catches for 475 yards and 3 TD's at tight end, and on defense, I had 50 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. Our QB was hurt during the offseason, so we did not have much practice with our timing before the season started. But when the ball was in the air, I went up and made the play. Now that we have our timing down, I am expecting a break out year this season."

Lance is being recruited from anywhere from receiver to tight end to safety. What does he consider to be his best position?

"I think receiver because I am a fast runner. I am real quick, and I have a lot of experience playing offense although I was brought up playing defense. The aggression I learned on defense taught me how to become an aggressive receiver. I am a full speed ahead type player. Everything I do is all out full speed. I try to play dangerous like I am the biggest man on the field. I like to hit. I play full speed and fast."

Why did Gadsden use Ray at tight end and not receiver?

"I played tight end because that is what I played as a sophomore and the depth chart was full at receiver. I played DL and LB growing up. I was real strong. It led to dumps across the middle and eventually they put me in at WR this offseason. I actually played OL/DL my freshman year, TE/ LB/ DE my sophomore year, TE/WR/OLB last year, and this year I am playing WR and S."

Spring practice started recently and a few visitors have been by.

"Yea, last Monday we started practice. A coach from Central Florida came by. A coach from Ole Miss, Coach Vaughn, came by the last two weeks. Last week, Marshall sent their OL coach in. Coach Jimbo Fisher came in from FSU and told me that he was coming back for our scrimmage. Kentucky sent a coach down here last week and they are getting a lot more serious now. Coach Beamer for South Carolina came by last week, and Coach Ensminger from Auburn was also down here. Coach Patrino from Arkansas is suppose to come to our scrimmage, and Coach Swaney from Clemson is also suppose to be by this week. Coach Boat from Iowa State is coming down, and Coaches Mike Kunaley (South Florida), and Heater (Florida) are also suppose to be by this week."

Which colleges have now offered?

"I have nine offers. They are Arkansas, South Carolina, FIU, UCF, MSU, Ole Miss, ISU, ECU, and Duke."

Any phone calls this Spring?

"Yea, Coach Beamer gave me a call. As a matter of fact, he was the first coach to call me. I talked to the TE coach from Duke. He called me. The WR coach from Vandy called, and Coach Fisher from FSU called."

Which coaches does Ray call on his own?

"I talk to Coach Beamer (South Carolina) more than any other coach. We email each other a lot too. I talk to Coach Patrino (Arkansas) often too. I also talk to coaches Boat (Iowa State) and Vaughn (Ole Miss) a lot too. I have been talking to Coach Vaughn a lot lately, as a matter of fact."

Which colleges are now at the top of Lance's list?

"My top schools are South Carolina, Arkansas, Iowa State, Ole Miss, South Florida, Florida, LSU, and FSU. I am really keeping an eye on them because I keep in contact with them the most and you know South Carolina and Arkansas are ready for me to commit."

What does Ray know about Gamecocks?

"I am not too familiar with their offense, but I have been to their official website and liked what I saw. I am real anxious to see their campus for myself. Coach Beamer knows me as a person, not only as the football player. We talk a lot about life, just about everything but football. It is on a real personal basis."

And Arkansas?

"Coach Patrino is a real cool person. He is down to earth. He is always talking about me committing and getting me the ball. He said he does not know which position I will play, but I will play a big role in their offense. That is a big thing with me. I want to play receiver. That's the negative with FSU. Coach Fisher also told me that he is not sure if I will play WR or S, but I want to play WR. It is not mandatory that I play WR, but if I have some better options out there, and they are going to let me play WR, I am going there."

What about Ole Miss?

"They are another school that I am not too familiar with. I have had a lot of one on one talks with Coach Vaughn. We have been talking a lot on the phone lately. He told me that I would play as a freshman. They are recruiting me as an athlete. He said the biggest thing is just getting me there. That was good to know. I am going to go to their camp in June."

What other camps will Lance participate in this summer?

"I am not sure, but I have plans on going to Vandy, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and a few of the Florida schools like South Florida and Florida."

What stands out about South Florida?

"They are recruiting me as a tight end, but they use their tight end like a receiver in their offense. They would put me in motion and use me like another receiver. That is the same thing with Duke. Another thing with South Florida is that their head coach is ready to meet me in person and I plan on visiting them this summer."

And Iowa State?

"Coach Boat wants me to go deep and that is real attractive for me. That is what I do best. They said they are only recruiting two receivers, and they are looking to sign a real physical receiver and that is where I come into play."

Ray actually had an early leader that is no longer on his list.

"The first school I was real interested in was Georgia Tech, but when they changed head coaches, I changed my mind because of the new offense they run. I am no longer interested in them."

Lance reports a 3.2 GPA and has not received his latest SAT score.


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