Overcoming the Classroom

His grades were poor and his football team was worse, but Fort Lauderdale HS athlete Kolby Gray didn't sit idle. With a scholarship offer promised to him if he get his grades in check, Gray has turned around his academics and has gotten more offers because of it.

MADISON - With all the things going against him, it almost seemed like Kolby Gray wasn't meant to get recruited.

A solid 6-foot, 180-pound athlete, Gray had roughly 700 rushing yards and five for Fort Lauderdale HS last season, but the Flying L's went 0-10 last season, generating very little positive publicity.

Off the field, Gray struggled academically, and was failing to reach the minimum GPA standard to be approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Even with all those problems, co –defensive coordinator Charlie Partridge had enough faith in his skills and his abilities to not only be a solid athlete, but to recover and be a solid student.

"They offered me when I wasn't eligible, but Coach Partridge had a lot of faith in me in that I was going to make it," Gray told Badger Nation. "He showed a lot of faith me that they were comfortable offering me when I wasn't eligible. That meant a lot to me."

As a result, those academic problems are a memory for Gray. Needing one class and needing to make a B or higher to improve his 2.4 GPA, he got his mark, improve his GPA to 2.6 and put his problems behind him.

"It's a big relief and acted as a motivation, a stepping stone going forward, to continue to do better and work harder," said Gray.

As a result, Gray has put himself in position to have more scholarships to choose from. After putting his highlight tape online, Gray has received Florida A&M, Indiana, Kentucky, Memphis, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan. He says he is also receiving interest from Miami (FL), South Carolina and Utah. Wisconsin is recruiting him as a wide receiver.

He hasn't visited many campuses, but Gray said he got a good feel for the University of Wisconsin when he was flipping around on the television and caught a recap of last October's Wisconsin victory over Ohio State.

"Coach Partridge has been telling me that Wisconsin is a nice school and that a lot of the city takes pride in the athletics," Gray said. "He's told me about the campus and the school, and a lot of kids from Florida really enjoy it there. Leaving Florida is no problem for me, but I want to make sure that if I do go, it's the right place for me. I also want to make sure that they have good academics so that I get good support to make sure my grades aren't an issue. Me and Coach talk a lot, so I feel comfortable."

Gray is expecting to take a visit to South Carolina in July to workout and most likely do a 7-on-7 event in the coming weeks. Gray is also looking at the possibly of running track in college, his other passion.

"It's something that I have to sit down with my family and coach about to find out what's best for me," Gray said. "I want to make a decision before my senior track season, right around or before that time."

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