Prospect Analysis: Johnathan Gray

How does Johnathan Gray size up and project as a player? And what did the state title game tell us about him? Read more inside.

First of all, Gray was nursing a knee injury, and suffered a shoulder stinger at the end of the first quarter. So he wasn't at 100 percent, and he was obviously limited. He didn't quite have his typical explosion, and his top-end speed was obviously lower than usual.

Still, Gray showed several glimpses into what makes him so special. Even without his full-go athleticism, the way he accelerated when he had a crease was impressive. He caught the ball well. And he even make a nice block or two.

I mentioned those things first, because with the way Gray runs the ball, the other things are too-easily forgotten. Remember, this is someone who served as Connor Brewer's top target in 7-on-7 at The Opening. He's a versatile player.

But it's the way he runs that gets people to flock to see Aledo play. And even at a less-than-ideal state of health, Gray impressed. He ran for 240 yards and a touchdown, but what was more impressive was the way he did it. He maximized his carries by twisting and angling his body before contact to ensure that he didn't take head-on shots. He waited for his blocks to develop, then followed them. He set up defenders behind those blocks with subtle movements. His vision is outstanding, and his balance might be even better.

There are those who will cast Gray simply as the speed threat to counter power threats Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. But while Gray's speed and big-play ability is impressive, it's his overall versatility that gives him a chance to be a great player at the next level and beyond.

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