Gray 'solid' to Tennessee

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Daniel Gray got off the plane in Knoxville on Friday still feeling his way through the recruiting process and boarded at McGhee Tyson Airport for his departure home early Sunday afternoon to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., with a clear view of his future on the next level.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound cornerback committed to Tennessee back on Nov. 8 without having ever been to Knoxville. This weekend's official visit was eye-opening for the Boyd H. Anderson (Fla.) High School product.

"It was great," Gray told InsideTennessee. "I loved it. Great fan support. They show you a lot of love. Great coaching staff. Great facilities. Everything is great in Knoxville. Great scenery; it's just a different scenery for me, and I love it." He noted that his future home isn't altogether unlike his current place of residence to the south.

"It's about the same. The weather is a little different. Both of them are city-like. We ain't got the mountains and all that stuff."

While on his visit, Gray said he got to know fellow commitments Quenshaun Watson and Cody Blanc, who were on campus officially as well. Gray called Blanc "his boy" and said he thinks he will be roommates with the Knoxville native.

"I know I'm coming in with a very good recruiting class," he said.

Gray said the trip to Rocky Top assured him of his commitment and he no longer has interest in Nebraska, Texas Tech or any other schools. He hinted that he will cancel his official visit for next weekend to Lincoln.

"I don't think I'm going to take the trip," said Gray, who referred to his verbal pledge to coach Derek Dooley as "solid."

"I didn't know Tennessee was going to be this great. The new facilities, to come in and play early. I'm given an option and as long as I'm given an option I'm going to take it. I just love Tennessee. I love the scenery and everything."

Gray was hosted by Tennessee freshman defensive end Jordan Williams, who is a native of Gainesville, Fla. He said that he knew of former Vol Gerald Williams, who also attended Boyd H. Anderson High School, but didn't know the elder Williams personally.

The three-star prospect was previously recruited by Charlie Baggett, who stepped down from his post as Tennessee wide receivers coach this week. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox has since taken over Gray's recruitment.

After giving a verbal commitment to Kansas back in May, Gray had a change of heart when he opened things up during his senior season and didn't take long in deciding to be a Volunteer.

"I just decided to depart. Kansas was too far," he said. "I didn't want to be that far from home. Tennessee is not that far, probably a 14-hour drive from home. I didn't want to be that far from home."

Gray reports that he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.32 seconds at the Under Armour All-American camp and at Scout.com's Mike Bakas' camp he clocked a 4.34. Back in February, Gray noted that his top 100-meter time is 10.39 and in the 200-meter it is 21.2.

"I'm a total package corner," said Gray, who also carries a glowing smile and an abundance of confidence. "I'll come up and hit. I cover. Just an all-around corner. I can play corner. I can play safety," he said. The blazer feels he is ready to be on the island against Southeastern Conference caliber wide receivers.

"I don't want to redshirt. The chance of me coming in to play they are great. Tennessee has, I'm not going to say they are bad DBs, but they have OK DBs. I just feel like I'm very up to par with them. I think I can come in and turn the program around," Gray said.

His high school season may still be ongoing had his team not been found to use illegible players and forced to forfeit several wins.

"That was tough," Gray said. "We ended the season 9-1. We had a good chance to compete for a state title this year. All we had to do was get by St. Thomas, and we'd have been in there. It was a tough blow, but I managed to get through it."

The speedster said he plans to enroll in June but hasn't decided on a major. He is carrying a 2.5 GPA with an ACT score of 22.


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