Commitment Analysis: Garrett Gray

Analyzing recent Texas commitment Garrett Gray's game, and what he could mean for the Longhorns.

The time don't lie. How many times over the course of recruitments do we hear a player swear up and down that he's a 4.4 or 4.5 type kid in the 40-yard dash, only to see him run 4.7? That's not to say that a player can't have "game speed." There are certain players whose aptitude or route-running skills allow them to play faster than they clock. But generally speaking, a player is as fast as he measures.

Which brings us to the recent Texas commitment, Garrett Gray. To watch Gray play is probably to guess that he'll be a tight end at the next level. Some of that is through no fault of his own: Gray just looks like the type of player who will blow up from a body perspective. In terms of size and frame, he's similar to current Longhorn Miles Onyegbule, who was 6-4 200 as a senior, reported to the Longhorns at 6-4 211 and is now up over 230 pounds. Gray is actually 205 right now, evenly spread over a 6-foot-4 frame that looks ready to expand.

But then there's the speed. While Onyegbule's fastest time in high school was in the low 4.5s, and most people probably would have estimated him as a 4.6ish type guy, Gray is fresh off a Texas camp setting where he ran a blistering 4.40. That's moving for anybody, much less a guy who is 6-4 205.*

* For comparison's sake, slot receiver Roderick Bernard is considered the speedster in the Texas class, and he ran 4.45 at the Longhorns' June 2 camp.

Add that kind of speed to the way that Gray uses his body on short to intermediate routes, and it isn't hard to see him finding a role in Texas's receiving corps. Every receiving crop needs players of different abilities … while you'd love every player to be 6-5 with 4.3 speed and the hips of a cross country skier, that's just not realistic. So instead, you have players who can fly vertically. You have 6-3 possession guys who can make the difficult catch in traffic. There are smaller slot receivers who excel at making plays in space.

And with Gray's size and speed, he projects to be a player who can both get downfield as well as somebody who could develop the possession-type skills. If he stays at a receiver size, that's fine. He has the hands and ball skills to play well there. But if he grows (outward) the way that his body looks like it could, Texas could have an even more devastating weapon, the flexed-out tight end who can outrun linebackers and outmuscle cornerbacks and safeties.

Either way, he's an excellent pickup.

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