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March 23, 2006Rivals.com junior all-American cornerback Gary Gray committed to the University of South Carolina on Thursday.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder from Columbia (S.C.) Richland Northeast High chose the Gamecocks ahead of Notre Dame, Florida State, Florida, and others at a press conference in his school auditorium.
"I wanted to get a great education and play for the greatest fans in the country," Gray said at his press conference. "It was a difficult decision."
Gray is the first commitment for South Carolina for the class of 2007. His Gamecock recruiter of record is new South Carolina recruiting coordinator and assistant quarterback coach David Reaves.
Gray could be the highest rated player to commit to South Carolina since Demetris Summers in the class of 2001. He is the highest rated prospect to commit to South Carolina under new head coach Steve Spurrier.
Gray announced his decision before a large crowd that included teammate Mark Barnes, also a Rivals100 prospect and blue-chip lineman Quintin Richardson.
Gray wanted to send a message to his teammates and other players from coast to coast.
"All the prospects from Southern California to South Florida, if we all go to seperate teams, we're just one piece of the puzzle," Gray said. "If we all go to the same school, imagine what we could do."