The state of Missouri has done a good job of producing running backs over the past few years that have gone on to have successful college careers, and 2014 looks like that trend will continue.
One of the top prospects who has yet to get the recognition he deserves is St. Joseph (MO) Central RB/S prospect Derek Gray 5'11" 190 4.56 forty, 32" vertical jump, 4.19 shuttle, and self reported lift maxes of 315lbs in the bench press and 400lbs in the squat.
ShowMePreps.com spoke with Gray, who is a two time NUC RB MVP, about his early recruitment recently.
"It's coming along,"said Gray when asked about recruiting and schools he has heard from. " South Dakota State invited me to their junior day and I attended that. I also have been hearing from Iowa,Missouri, Michigan and Kansas State primarily so far.
Gray seemed most familiar with Iowa and Missouri after camping with those schools. He shared his thoughts about both.
Iowa-"I went to a game up there and I really like their game atmosphere up there. It was great. They have great coaches and a great program."
Missouri-"I went to camp up there and had a great time. I really like their facilities, and they taught me some stuff I was able to use during this past season. Also them joining the SEC is really nice."
While his skill at running back stands out, he also showed some strong ability on defense in 2012. I wanted to know which side of the ball he saw himself on?
"In college I see myself playing offense. Although I would be open to playing defense. I just got the opportunity to play linebacker and my coaches said I was a playmaker. I was able to use my speed and quickness to run down plays,"said Gray.
On offense his strengths are also his speed and quickness.
‘I would say that along with my vision. It allows me to find the hole quickly and then get up there through it."
While he is a long way from making a decision, Derek laid out what he was looking for in a college.
"Location is important. I would like someplace with a family atmosphere and a good staff and academics. I would like to major in sports medicine, so finding a good school for that will be important,"said Gray.
He received multiple honors on the football field in 2012 after rushing for almost 1,2oo yards and double digit touchdowns, while also seeing some action at linebacker on defense part way through the season.
Derek is also a standout in baseball and basketball, and his contribution as a guard on the basketball team helped them win their district championship this past weekend.