Joel Gray has High on Red Raiders

4-star OT Joel Gray is hoping to commit before the end of the summer, but with offers from major programs around the nation, it won't be an easy decision. One school that has remained atop his list, however, is Texas Tech. "Every time I go out to Tech, I end up liking it more," Gray noted. Scout.com talked with Joel about the Red Raiders as well as the other schools he is considering.

Joel Gray, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound four-star offensive tackle from Hebron High School in Lewisville, Texas, says he has "around 16-18 offers," but still hasn't chosen a favorite yet.

His offers include Texas Tech, Stanford, Arizona, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Ole Miss and Nebraska, among others.

Gray says that one school that he's very interested in, Oklahoma, hasn't offered yet. "They are pretty much the only school I'm really looking at that hasn't offered yet," Gray said. "I'm still waiting on them."

He already visited Norman, Okla., for the Sooner junior day and will be going to the Oklahoma camp later this summer. "I really liked Norman," he said. "It's only like three hours away and it's a nice area with a great football atmosphere. Plus, I like how Oklahoma has a history of winning and good tradition."

The only other junior day that Gray attended was Texas Tech's. "I really like the coaching staff there," he said. "I have a great relationship with all the coaches, especially their o-line coach, Matt Moore. He's a great guy.

"Every time I go out to Tech, I end up liking it more," he admitted. "It's a great college town and they really have fun there and love football. It's a great atmosphere for a football player."

Gray, Scout.com's No. 18 offensive tackle, is also excited about the Red Raiders' prospects for next season. "They have a lot of seniors coming back and I see them making a big push and having a great season."

He plans on attending the Texas Tech camp this summer as well.

From June 22-24, Gray will be visiting Stanford. "The distance is a scary thought," he admitted. "But once you get away I've heard it's not a big deal. A school like Stanford is hard to not consider. The education they offer is so good that you have to at least check them out.

"Coach Jim Harbaugh is a really intelligent guy and he's got a great football mind," he said. "He's a leader and they beat USC last season so I see great things for them. They've really got something special going."

Although he continues to deny a leader, Gray says his favorites are Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Stanford, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Arizona and Nebraska and hopes to visit as many of those as he can during the summer.

One school that Gray will visit for sure is Nebraska. "That's a must visit for me," he said. "One of my relatives was like lieutenant governor there and I've got a bunch of cousins in Nebraska. My whole family really likes them.

"I really like their tradition too," Gray said. "They have a great history, especially at the offensive line. There's a pretty good opportunity for me to play early there too. I talked to (running back) coach Tim Beck and he's a cool guy. They are making a lot of good changes and I think they'll have a very competitive program."

Gray says he also hopes to get out to the East Coast and possibly visit Virginia. "One of my teammates went out there during spring break and liked it a lot," he said. "I've heard it's a beautiful place and that they are very family oriented. I don't really know a whole lot about them though.

"My biggest thing is the coaches and the players," he said. "I need to feel comfortable with them because they are going to be my family for like four to five years. I want to feel at home and love where I'm living.

"I'm also looking to benefit myself for the future because football won't be forever," he said. "I hope to either coach or be a physical therapist, so I plan on majoring in either education or kinesiology."

Gray also plans on making his decision before his senior season starts, so the next few months are critical. "I'd like to commit before my senior year," he said. "I'm going to a few camps this summer and see how that goes. It's too early right now to say I have a favorite, but hopefully I'll have a better idea before the end of summer."

He says he can bench 300-pounds and squat 415. Gray helped lead his team to the fourth round of the 5A state playoffs and Hebron to an 11-3 final record.

"My biggest attribute is my footwork," he said. "My leadership is also great. I'm pretty quick for my size too. I play pissed off. My main goal is to put people on their butt."

Gray says he runs a 5.3 forty.

"I definitely want to get stronger," he said. "Especially my legs. Strength and speed are two things you can never have enough of."

Gray reports a 3.5 core GPA and is awaiting his May 3 SAT results. He is retaking the SAT on June 7 as well.



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