March 23, 2006

Decision day

The time has come for Rivals100 cornerback Gary Gray to make his college decision.

On Thursday, Gray will make his announcement at his school. And, Rivals.com will have an audio webcast of the event live.

The press conference takes place at 6:30 p.m. ET and the audio webcast will begin shortly before the scheduled announcement. A link to the webcast can be found on the RivalsRadio front page. Click "Listen Now."

For live updates leading up to the press conference, click here to visit the Rivals.com football recruiting message board.

Gray, who is 5-foot-10, 170 pounds and from Columbia (S.C.) Richland Northeast, says he has narrowed his choices to Notre Dame, Florida State, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina State and South Carolina. Things are pointing toward a two-team race between the Irish and the Gamecocks.

Gray's interest in the Irish was due in part to a recent visit to check out the Irish campus.

"Notre Dame's facilities are unbelievable," Gray said. "I really liked pretty much everything about Notre Dame."

The Gamecocks, being the hometown team, have been in the picture for a long time. Gray says that he's very familiar with what Carolina has to offer.

Farrell's Forecast
Gray could be the top player in the country at his position due to his athleticism and a physical nature that allows him to play bigger than his size.

Steve Spurrier clearly has the home field advantage here as Gray is a hometown kid and minutes from the Gamecocks. However, Notre Dame is as hot as they've been in years on the recruiting trail and haven't missed on many of their top targets since Weis arrived.

With Darrin Walls and Raeshon McNeil on board from last season and a total of five potential defensive backs signed from last year, playing time seems to be in the favor of the Gamecocks. That along with home cooking should help Spurrier reel in Gray, a huge commitment that could lead to others.

Forecast: South Carolina
Confidence Level: Medium
-- Rivals.com National Analyst Mike Farrell

"I go to almost all of their games and some of their practices," Gray said. "I've got a good relationship with the players and some of the coaches. It's a good environment there."

Florida State and Florida made recent scholarship offers. Gray says that he watched both Sunshine State teams for some time. He says he remembers former Seminoles such as Warrick Dunn and Charlie Ward. He also watched the Gators on a regular basis when current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier coached in Gainesville.

Gray's interest in Tennessee has a lot to do with his trip to the Volunteers' junior day.

As a sophomore, Gray recorded 65 tackles, 19 pass break-ups, and three interceptions in just eight games at cornerback. In three starts at quarterback that year, he rushed for 320 yards and passed for 350 yards while putting together a combined six total touchdowns.

His junior season was highlighted by 60 tackles and four interceptions. Gray earned all-area and all-region honors for that performance.

Gray will be a December graduate and will be able to compete during spring football.

He is widely considered one of the nation's best defensive backs, and possibly the top cornerback in the country.

Chat with national recruiting editor JC Shurburtt: Click here to post a question




 

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