Post-Commitment Reaction: Eric Gray Details Wild Recruiting Journey to Michigan

Eric Gray-Michigan recruiting-Michigan football-commit-recruit-Wolverines-Jim Harbaugh-Jay Harbaugh Evan Petzold/WolverinesWire

Post-Commitment Reaction: Eric Gray Details Wild Recruiting Journey to Michigan

Football

Post-Commitment Reaction: Eric Gray Details Wild Recruiting Journey to Michigan


Memphis (Tenn.) Lausanne Collegiate School 2019 all-purpose back Eric Gray recaps his commitment to Michigan.


Post-Commitment Reaction: Eric Gray Details Wild Recruiting Journey to Michigan

Eric Gray recruited four top prospects at The Opening Finals.

On June 23, 2017, Eric Gray stepped on Michigan’s campus for the 1-Day Elite Camp.

Exactly 373 days later, Gray committed to play football for the Wolverines.

However, the journey was not easy for the 2019 four-star all-purpose back from Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, Tennessee.

“After the camp, I didn’t really hear from Michigan because their offensive coordinator (Tim Drevno) was going a different route with running backs,” Gray said, calling his early interaction with Michigan weird. “Once he left (for USC), they started coming back.

“I didn’t think I wanted to go to Michigan because they used to not talk to me. I almost didn’t take the official, but taking it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It really opened my eyes.”

The 5-foot-10, 191-pound running back picked Michigan over 22 other schools. He said Penn State was extremely close to gaining his commitment.

Gray officially visited Penn State on June 8 and Michigan on June 22 before making his decision.

“Penn State was very close,” he said. “The academic part set Michigan apart. You can’t go wrong with Michigan. The athletics and academics go hand-in-hand. It’s the best of the best.”

During his official visit to Michigan, Gray got to spend time with the coaches and players, along with learning about the program. His conversation with coach Jim Harbaugh changed everything.

“Before I went on the visit, I was pretty iffy about it,” Gray said of Michigan. “I didn’t know much about the school, so I was just open-minded.

“Once I sat down in Coach Harbaugh’s office, I was 95 percent sure Michigan was the place for me.”

Being an all-purpose back, Michigan plans to use Gray in a variety of ways. The Wolverines emulate him to current running back Chris Evans. He will play tailback and will get snaps at the slot receiver position. As a tailback, Gray sees himself striving best because he can run to the inside and the outside while making opponents miss.

Gray, along with fellow 2019 commit DJ Turner, put on the recruiter cap at The Opening Finals. The two worked on Madison (Ala.) Bob Jones four-star cornerback Jaydon Hill, Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington five-star safety Daxton Hill, Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange five-star defensive end Zach Harrison and Oakley (Calif.) Freedom three-star all-purpose back Giles Jackson.

“We were definitely trying to get people to come to Michigan,” Gray said. “My recruiting pitch is the academics and football. It’s 110,000 fans in that stadium. The program is starting up and we have one of the best-recruiting classes in the country.

“This is the time for Michigan to go over the top. People say Michigan will never beat Ohio State, but this is the time. This recruiting class will beat Ohio State.”

Michigan’s primary recruiter for Gray is running backs coach Jay Harbaugh, who has grown close to the four-star recruit over the past year.

“He’s my guy,” Gray said of Jay. “He was definitely key in picking a school. Jay is a down-to-earth guy and is regular. When he showed me my tape and what I could work on, I saw that we could do big things at the college level and beyond.

“I was like, ‘Man, he and I may have to do this in college.'”

Gray will sign during the Early Signing Period in December and enroll early at the University of Michigan. His plan all along was to close his recruitment before his senior season to focus.

“I didn’t want to go into my senior season worrying about what college I was going to,” Gray said. “I’m happy to have picked the school.

“I’m locked in. 100 percent to Michigan.”

Gray is ranked No. 248 in the nation, No. 3 at his position and No. 10 in Tennessee, according to 247Sports Composite.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire / @EvanPetzold

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home