|Rochester, MI – 6'2" 180|
|24/7||3*, #796 overall
#77 CB, #20 MI
|Rivals||3*, NR overall
#60 CB, #14 MI
|ESPN||3*, NR overall
#85 CB, #25 MI
|Composite||3*, #702 overall
#63 CB, #18 MI
|Other Suitors||Mizzou, WVU, UCLA, Cal, UVA, BC, UO|
|YMRMFSPA||Tall Brandon Watson|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
|Notes||Twitter. Mizzou decommit.|
Michigan already had four 6'2"-ish DB commits when they started pursuing instate Mizzou commit Vincent Gray just before the early signing day. The wet fart that was Michigan's finish to the class necessarily depresses optimism about any of the guys Michigan picked up late, but Gray has a few positive arrows. Foremost amongst them is that Michigan absolutely did not need another DB and still thought Gray was worth the pursuit and the slot.
Second is that Gray's senior season garnered him a lot of interest, a few solid-to-impressive offers (Oregon, UCLA, and coulda-shoulda ND per this Mick McCabe article), and may have gotten him some other big time offers if he wasn't a formality for Michigan as long as they checked the boxes down the stretch. Allen Trieu reported that Penn State and Stanford were asking after him. Michigan did check the boxes, and Gray ended up in the class.
Like a couple other mid-level commits in the secondary, scouting is pretty thin. ESPN has zero. What does exist is all from team-specific sites. Mizzou's effort after his initial commitment:
…long, lanky corner with good ball skills. Has excellent height and arm length and uses both well, as he is physical with opposing receivers. …good speed, but not a burner. Has very good feet and hips and accelerates well.
My biggest concern with him is his change of direction. He has to do a better job getting out of his backpedal. Is a sound tackler downfield, but doesn't step up and make plays around the line of scrimmage.
His ability to play the ball in the air is exceptional. Has very good hands and instincts, should come up with his share of interceptions. …raw prospect, but has a ton of upside because of size, frame, and athleticism.
The good news for Gray is that "backpedal" is a thing virtually unknown at Michigan, what with their near-constant press. Gray isn't going to be a slot corner.
An ND site thought he was notable at an Opening regional:
…pleasant surprise on the day. …still missing that marquee, top-tier offer. Physically, I like where Gray is at. He’s a legit 6-2, 180 pounds. He’s put together well. He showed good coverage skills and an ability to get up in the air and high point the football. He’s someone to keep an eye on moving forward.
The Wolverine pinged Josh Helmholdt, who said Gray is tall and then bagged on tall cornerbacks before asserting he is "one of those rare cornerbacks who possess both height and fluidity." Rivals does have Gray higher than the other two sites, but still in the three-star range because he's a project:
"When we saw Gray go against other Division I prospects in the off-season, I expected him to stand out more. While he is fluid, his break on the football was not as explosive as I had hoped. He is also very thin and will need to add weight."
You'll note that's a camp take. It's entirely reasonable to use camp takes for cornerbacks but it appears that Gray broke out a bit during his senior season and that may not be something Helmholdt saw in person. Helmholdt also did one of those videos when he committed to Mizzou:
[After THE JUMP: Ron Bellamy! Johnny come back it's Ron Bellamy!]