October 2, 2008

LB Gray getting major interest

One of the top prospects in Michigan for the class of 2010 is linebacker Austin Gray of Warren, Fitzgerald High School. Gray has helped the Spartans get off to a 5-0 start and hold the opposition to less than a touchdown a game. Despite often sitting out the second half of several blowout victories, Gray has racked up 5 sacks on the season and recorded double-digit tackles in several contests.

Gray burst on the recruiting scene this past winter after he had a strong sophomore season for Fitzgerald High School. He ended his season by racking up over 100-tackels and 17 TFL's. For his efforts he was named 1st Team All-Conference.

This summer Gray attended camps at Michigan State and Penn State. Those two schools got the early jump on his recruitment, but now several other BCS programs are starting to turn up the heat. Gary's Head Coach Jason Byers provided us with some details.

"He's been invited to games at Michigan State, Florida State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Louisville. I would say Michigan State and Michigan have been the most active."

Gray attended the Spartans win over Notre Dame a few weeks ago, and he will be in Ann Arbor this weekend to see the Wolverines take on the Fighting Illini.

What type of feedback have you been getting about Gray from college coaches?

"We heard from Oklahoma coach Brent Venables and he said Austin is at the top of his board. They will evaluate for about another month and then send out offers. Coach Gilmore from Cincinnati told me he's waiting on Austin's film. He said he wants to offer him early and needs the film for the linebacker coach. Greg Gillum from Ohio State just called today and invited Austin to the Penn State game. I think Austin is real close to getting his first offer. Central Michigan told me in August he is their top linebacker prospect for 2010. It's a matter of when, not if."

Gray measured in at 6-foot-2, 203 pounds last March at the Rivals.com 5-Star Academy. Coach Byers indicated that Gray has since added 10-pounds of muscle and is not tipping the scales at around 215-pounds.

Michigan State has been recruiting Gray since early last spring. Spartan Coach Dan Enos serves as the primary recruiter of Gray and stopped into Warren Fitzgerald High School this past spring during the May Evaluation period.

As far as what linebacker position Gray will play in college, it currently looks like he will project as a SAM linebacker. Gray will add more quality size over the next 18-months and he already plays with good speed and instincts. It would not be a surprise if he arrives in college close to 230-pounds.

Coach Byers was not willing to indicate whether Gary currently favors one particular team at this point in time. As far as the Spartans go he did indicate that the Spartans high level of early interest in Gray and of-field success has not gone unnoticed. Coach Byers is very familiar with the Spartans program as he coached former Spartan and current NFL player Kyle Cook when he was in High School at Dakota.

Gray's recruitment is another example of the Spartans getting a jump on evaluating in-state prospect. Coach Dantonio has made the home front a priority from a recruiting standpoint and that can only serve to payoff especially in a year like 2010, which is shaping up to be another good year for in-state talent.

SpartanMag.com will be getting new highlight film of Gray in the near future, look for that to be up on Rivals.com in the near future.

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