Spotlight 2013: OT Derwin Gray

One of the best underclassmen at the Rutgers Big Man Academy was Dunbar High (Washington, D.C.) offensive tackle Derwin Gray. In fact, the Scarlet Knights extended a verbal offer at the end of the camp. Gray spoke to about the offer, what he knows about Rutgers, and when he will be back on campus to see more of the school.

The Rutgers Big Man Academy is a proving ground for class of 2012 prospects, and it can serve as a coming out party for 2013 players as well.

One player to make an impact at the camp was 2013 Dunbar High (Washington, D.C.) offensive tackle Derwin Gray, who left campus with a verbal offer, which is why he is the next subject in's "Spotlight 2013" series.

"I think I did well with my footwork and my combination of speed and strength" the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Gray said. "I did better with explosiveness, and also with giving my all and being competitive out there, and giving the person on the other side of the ball a chance to get better. "I thought I handled myself well. I liked the competition that was there."

Already holding verbal offers from New Mexico and Michigan State, Gray and his coach, Ashaa Cherry, both said Rutgers extended an offer at the end of the day.

"When I left, they verbally offered," Gray said. "They cannot give me an official (written) offer until next summer."

But the offer stood out to Gray, who is also hearing from the likes of Notre Dame, LSU, Virginia Tech and UCLA.

"It shows a lot," he said. "I've grown, and the schools see something in me that can help the program, or bring a championship to their program. That means a lot to me."

Gray liked what he saw at Rutgers in regards to the facilities, and he said getting instruction from the coaching staff was a plus.

Although he didn't see much of the campus, that will change when he camps at Rutgers (June 26) again.

"I know they are the first school to play a college game, and it was against Princeton," he said. "I know they have a very good academic program, and are No. 2 in the country in (APR). I like that.

"The academic (support) is so good I don't have to worry about having a problem that I don't have to worry about it. The school is there to make sure I have my grades together, and continue the tradition of no players flunking out."

Gray plays left tackle at Dunbar High, but can move to guard in college if he doesn't grow a few more inches.

"He's a real athletic guy," Cherry said. "We are a multi-offense team. He's a physical specimen. He's 6-4, 255, and he's only 16 years old, so he is nowhere near reaching his potential. He has good footwork, good strength and is a gym rat. He's an excellent kid to coach. He listens. It's pleasure to coach him."

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