Moments sometimes stick with people.
Maleik Gray made the short drive from La Vergne to Knoxville to see Tennessee rally from 21 points down to Florida for a 38-28 win as part of a checkerboard crowd of 102,455.
“The craziest atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at the University of Tennessee,” Gray told InsideTennessee.
The Scout No. 48-rated prospect in the 2017 class should know. He’s been invited to The Hill since eighth grade to get a flavor for Big Orange football. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder knows several of the Volunteers and is familiar with the roster. Seeing them bounce back from the early deficit wasn’t a major surprise.
“I’m kind of used to seeing them come out slow,” Gray said. “I knew that they were going to come out stronger in the second half, and they did exactly what I thought they were going to do. And, they finished strong, really strong.”
That victory over the Gators gave Tennessee its 10th consecutive win. That streak is now up to 11 games after the then-No. 11 Vols beat then-No. 25 Georgia in Athens on Saturday. The four-star prospect admitted that Tennessee turning another corner helps solidify his commitment (verbally Jun 12).
“Yes, it does, because it lets me know that they won’t ever give up,” Gray said.
The No. 3-rated safety in the nation kept a close eye on the Vols defense, which played 11 defensive linemen and seven linebackers.
“That just lets you know that they have guys in the depth that are also ready to go,” Gray said.
Gray plans to take official visits to Alabama, Florida State, Southern California and Tennessee. He is unsure about a fifth visit but he plans to officially trip back to Rocky Top “after the season. That way I can spend more quality time with the coaches.”
La Vergne is 1-6 overall and 1-3 in Class 5A, Region 5. It has a bye this weekend before hosting Franklin County in Week 9.