The Tennessee Vols added another key piece to their 2019 recruiting class on Thursday. All-Purpose Back Eric Gray, from Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis, signed with the Vols. Gray is the 171st ranked prospect in the nation and is the fifth ranked prospect in the state of Tennessee in the 247Sports.com industry composite.
Tennessee Vols Sign Eric Gray
Gray is 5’10” and 190 pounds. He projects as a third down option, at least early in his career. If he’s able to add to his frame, he certainly has the potential to be an every down, featured back in the SEC. While Gray’s 40-yard time is good at 4.57, his shuttle time of 4.14 is outstanding. Gray’s quickness and lateral movement is his strength.
Gray expects to enroll in January.
The additional time in the weight room and training tables will benefit his transition to college ball. Gray played against lesser competition in a smaller division of Tennessee high school football.
Gray rushed for over 8,100 yards and 124 touchdowns in his high school career. He was a three year starter at Lausanne. The Lynx lost one game in his three years as a starter. Gray now holds the state record for career touchdowns. He earned Gatorade Player of the Year for Tennessee honors. MaxPreps recognized Gray as National Player of the Year as well. Gray was also a Tennessee Mr. Football Award recipient for his Division.
Home State Significance
Gray is the Vols’ top recruit from the state of Tennessee. He’s one of only two Tennessee commits or signees from the state’s top 15 recruits. While head coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have recruited the state of Georgia very well, they haven’t found much success inside their own state. Offensive lineman Jackson Lampley, another private school stand out, is the Vols other top in-state commit/signee.
Gray de-committed from Michigan just two weeks ago. His uncle, Maurice Hall, played collegiate football at Ohio State.
Additionally, Tennessee has historically struggled to recruit the Memphis area. Pruitt’s ability to go in and grab one of the top three Memphis-area recruits is a positive sign in an otherwise lackluster in-state recruiting cycle. LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, and Minnesota are the other teams that recruited the Memphis area well this cycle. Ole Miss and Arkansas historically recruit the Memphis area well.
Black or White
Tennessee adding Gray to their roster is a positive sign and a step in the right direction. Make no mistake, though, recruiting success isn’t what Vols fans are looking for. They want wins on the field. There will be pressure on the Vols in 2019 to start winning again. While there will be a Gray on the roster, there’s no gray area in expectations from Vols fans.