Gray talks to Sherman

Running back Cyrus Gray had a great game against Hebron, but fell short. So now that his season is over, he's focusing on recruiting. But where do the Aggies stand after Franchione resigned? What does he think about Sherman? How did their first conversation go? Aggie Websider has the latest.

aYou'd think rushing for 179 yards and scoring six touchdowns in a playoff game would be a winning combination, but Cyrus Gray's extraordinary individual performance last week wasn't enough to outlast Hebron as the Eagles fell in four overtimes 50-44.

"I scored six touchdowns and I played pretty well," Gray said. "But I would trade my individual accomplishments for a win. We played hard, but I guess it wasn't supposed to be."

In the offseason, the Desoto coaching staff needed a quarterback to lead the team in 2007. Given his athleticism, versatility, and his attitude, the staff looked to Gray to move from running back to quarterback. The move has created some unexpected dividends for the four-star running back.

"I feel my vision has opened up this season. I see the field better because I've been coached to read defenses and anticipate where defenders will be," Gray said. "Playing quarterback also helped my leadership skills. The team looks to the quarterback for guidance and leadership."

The 6-foot, 190-pound blue chip runner is a hot commodity and one of the few true difference-makers still uncommitted from the Lone Star state. Coaches from Louisville, Cal, KU, Florida, Texas, and Nebraska have all come by his house or his school in the previous week to pitch the speedy athlete.

Gray continues to list a top seven, although there have been some changes in his top group of schools.

"The schools still under consideration are Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Kansas, Cal, Florida, and Notre Dame," Gray said. "I'm visiting Kansas this weekend and I go to Louisville the following weekend. I go to Florida January 11and then I'm going to either Cal or possibly Arizona for my final visit."

Gray previously visited Notre Dame during the Navy weekend a few weeks ago. One of Gray's leading schools, Texas A&M, recently made a coaching change when Dennis Franchione resigned in late November and was replaced by NFL coordinator Mike Sherman. Gray recently talked to Sherman and came away impressed.

"He sounds like a great coach. We just introduced ourselves and tried to get to know each other," Gray said referring to his first phone conversation with the new A&M head coach. "He wants to run a pro-style offense with multiple sets like he did in Green Bay. He said he probably won't run the spread offense. I'm looking forward to meeting him and talking about his offense more."

Sherman is also getting good references from former Desoto teammates and current Texas A&M players Von Miller and Garrick Williams, who talk regularly to Gray.

"They are really excited about Coach Sherman coming in. He's an NFL guy and will develop players to win championships and get to the next level," Gray said. "Sherman told them he'd make them better football players, and everybody is getting a fresh start with him."

So after talking to Sherman, has the coaching change at Texas A&M hurt his recruitment to Aggieland?

"Maybe a little bit because I knew the other coaches," Gray said. "But it won't really affect my final decision. I'm going to pick the school that's a best fit for me. I've been to A&M many times and I have friends there, so A&M is still right there."

However, Gray does not plan to take an official visit to A&M at this time, with visits to Kansas (Dec. 8), Louisville (Dec. 15), Florida (Jan. 11), and either Cal or Arizona (Jan. 18). But Aggie fans shouldn't worry, according to the talented running back prospect.

"I don't need to use one of my official visits going to Texas A&M. It's right down the road and I've been there so many times, Gray said. "I want to use my paid trips to schools that are further away."

But for now, Gray is preparing for his Kansas visit this weekend. Coach Mangino's style of offense has definitely attracted his attention.

"Kansas is a team that has always been on my mind. They have a good team and they will be better next year," Gray said. "They spread the ball around and get the ball to its playmakers. I like that."

Gray's teammate, Tony Jerod, a four-star defensive lineman who was rumored to accompany Gray to Kansas, will not be making the trip to Lawrence according to the DeSoto native.

"I talked to him this afternoon and I think he's decided not to visit Kansas with me this weekend," Gray said. "I'm not sure what he's going to do."

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