2018 Recruiting: Vincent Gray

2018 Recruiting: Vincent Gray

Submitted by Brian on June 7th, 2018 at 12:18 PM

Previously: Last year's profiles. S Sammy Faustin, S German Green, CB Gemon Green.

Rochester, MI – 6'2" 180

vincent gray

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!]

Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense

Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense

Submitted by Seth on March 2nd, 2018 at 10:22 AM


Very different types of 3-stars [Eric Upchurch, 2013]

This is take two (take one got deleted) of Part II of my attempt to put the recruiting rankings of this year’s commits in context within the ~500 previous Michigan commits we have Part I: The Offense lives here.

Since the last one I’ve been dealing with a health thing. In fact I’m writing this from the hospital, where they’ve had me holed up since last Friday. Between tests, consultations, vitals, and literally almost 100 needle pokes into my vascular system, I’ve had time to complete a substantial update to my roster database, which now goes all the way back to Gary Moeller’s first year, plus some long overdue tweaks to how I value position and regional rankings.*

I’ve also been playing around with interactive charts on Tableau:


Click to get to the chart since I can’t figure out how to get embedding to work yet. I’m new at these so bear with me as I learn.

* [Methodology for stat nerds: I averaged the 247 composites of each rank for each position, then plotted it on a graph and used the logarithmic formula]




Young Wormley was 70 percent potential, 30 percent hair [Upchurch/Bryan Fuller]

After Michigan loaded up with linemen last year and secured two one of the top DEs for 2019, they could afford to get picky in 2018. They still got one potentially immediate contributor and two excellent choices for sleepers of the class. Aiden Hutchinson got a late ratings bump from the sites which pushed him up from a near-perfect Ryan Van Bergen comp to “not just a four star” range.


The only relatively recent guy Michigan captured in this range was Craig Roh, but if Rivals hadn’t been so contrarian with Wormley I think that would be your closest comp. 247 was the highest on Wormley and came out about the same on Hutchinson’s kid. He’s supposed to be coming in to play defense but if you want to project him at guard, well, here’s the closest comp:


We have to scroll down to the mid 3-stars for Taylor Upshaw and Julius Welschof:


Note that’s not “generic three star” like Greg Brooks/Rondell Biggs, but neither is it “just missed a fourth star” like Carlo Kemp and Jibreel Black. As I said, I love the potential with both of these guys. Upshaw is the son of an NFL player who didn’t start playing football until recently. Welschof is a German athletic freak and mogul skiier who gathered a lot of interest from the big-time schools he camped at. The recruiters were always playing catch-up there too. Rivals didn’t take to Welschof—otherwise the sites placed them in the same range as some other position-switchers or needs-to-gain-weight types with high ceilings to unwrap in a few years.

Defensive end is a position where the talent apparent in high school translates more directly to an NFL career:


(and that’s totally the reason I showed this)

Fortunately for our hopes here the only guy from the three-star bin considered an athlete on the level of Upshaw and Welschof was Shelton Johnson, and his career crumbled for off-field reasons.

[After THE JUMP: used to be better before I had to rewrite all of it]


National Signing Day II Presser: Jim Harbaugh

National Signing Day II Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on February 8th, 2018 at 10:35 AM



“Hello. Good to see everybody.”

Jim, couple misses today but the new guys that you did get, what do you think about the class?

“Very excited about the class. First time we’ve had two signing days, so many that you know about and proud to announce, officially, Shea Patterson—talked about him; Ronnie Bell, can officially announce Ronnie; Casey Hughes, who’s also a graduate transfer; Vince Gray; Michael Barrett. So, welcome to the Michigan family.”

You started talking about Ronnie the last time inadvertently, but what is it that you like about Ronnie?

“Love all his athletic ability. Start off with production: 86 catches, close to 1200 yards, Simone Player of the Year in Kansas City, player of the year in football. He’s also an excellent basketball player and…love the family, love him. Production. Production being the key thing.”

MGoQuestion: What are you getting in Michael Barrett and do you envision him starting off at quarterback or running back or somewhere else?

“Envision him getting the ball in his hands. Wide receiver, slot receiver, running back: those two areas primarily for him. Spent some time with Anquan Boldin, who was also a high school quarterback. Played some quarterback in college, and eventually wide receiver. Somebody that can get the ball and make yards after the catch or yards after contact. A receiver who can run like a running back and, also, I think he’ll have the ability to be a running back. So, different areas that Michael could get the football, including quarterback.”

Now that it’s all over and you’ve had the two signing days, you’ve had the coaches moving in between, with all of it together, what did you learn about this…new world, I suppose? What did you take away from it overall?

“I don’t know what the numbers exactly will be but somewhere around 80% seemed to sign on the first signing day, and then there was 20% more that signed throughout college football. I think our numbers will be pretty close to that. There was a priority for the youngsters to sign on the first signing day. That’s the biggest thing, the biggest takeaway.”

[After THE JUMP: possible positions for Ryan Hayes and Casey Hughes, another spring abroad, and thoughts on new staff additions (including those no longer here)]

Hello: Vincent Gray

Hello: Vincent Gray

Submitted by Ace on January 22nd, 2018 at 3:15 PM

On Sunday, Michigan added a commitment from three-star Rochester (MI) Adams defensive back Vincent Gray, a one-time Mizzou pledge who looked like he was headed to West Virginia before the home-state Wolverines came calling.

Gray's recruitment took off in December, when he added his Michigan offer and picked up interest from some big-time programs:

Gray seemed set to sign with West Virginia during the Early Signing Period, but that quickly changed when Michigan offered a scholarship just days before. Now he is waiting into January, where an official visit with the Wolverines is likely. He has stayed quiet on other plans, but word is other programs like Penn State, Stanford, and more have inquired.

He committed on that official visit, right around when offers from Oregon and UCLA came in. Gray is the 20th commit in the 2018 class and the fifth defensive back, joining a very lanky group of Myles Sims, Gemon and German Green, and Sammy Faustin.


Note: added state rankings. I probably should've done this a long time ago and the elimination of Scout added some room. It's listed after positional rank. Also added Rivals rating (FAQ here).

Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.7, #56 CB,
#14 MI
3*, 76, #82 CB,
#25 MI
3*, 86, #68 CB,
#19 MI, #695 Ovr
3*, #60 CB,
#17 MI, #686 Ovr

Rivals is most bullish on Gray, giving him their highest three-star rating and placing him 17 position ranking spots away from four-star status. On the other end, ESPN presumably fired off a rating when they added his profile yesterday; raise your hand if you think Michigan just offered the 25th-best prospect in the state.

Gray certainly fits the mold of a Don Brown defensive back. He's listed at 6'2", 179-180 pounds at ESPN and 247; Rivals has a probably outdated figure of 6'1", 165. Like everyone else, Gray will get thrown into the pile of defensive back and the coaches will figure out where he best fits between cornerback and safety/nickel; my guess is he'll be the latter.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

Vincent Gray Commits To Michigan

Vincent Gray Commits To Michigan

Submitted by Brian on January 21st, 2018 at 1:56 PM


Instate CB Vincent Gray committed on his official visit:

Writing was on the wall here after Gray held off signing early. At first blush, Gray is very much a luxury since Michigan is bringing in 4 DBs already despite losing nobody from this year's team. Gray is in he three-star sleeper range on the composite, the #17 kid in Michigan and #686 overall, and his recruiting story—a Mizzou commitment that almost turned into a WVU flip before Michigan stepped in—doesn't do a whole lot to dispute that take.

Ace will have a Hello post Monday.

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Signing Most Of The Class

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Signing Most Of The Class

Submitted by Brian on December 20th, 2017 at 12:16 PM

It's early Signing Day, hooray?


Anoma foreground. Probably not Cesar Ruiz background. But maybe!

I much prefer the full on early February blitz to this ghostly half-life. Should there be a liveblog? Probably not since there is one scheduled announcement relevant to Michigan, not half-dozen there usually are on Real Signing Day.

That announcement is coming from 5* MD DE Eyabi Anoma, who has been widely expected to go to Alabama for the duration of his recruitment. Brian Dohn popped up this morning to say Michigan is "making a very strong push" and could be the pick, but if that comes off like an attempt to build drama to you, you are wise in the ways of recruiting. The last second flip-flop does happen. I wouldn't get your hopes up. He commits shortly after 2 PM, FWIW.

There have been a couple of events to note. Michigan flipped German DE Julius Welschof from Georgia Tech. He's their third sleeper-ish recruit of the past week and rather indicates where this class is headed: to a spot outside the top ten, in all likelihood. Ace will assemble a hello later today; that's likely to be like the two for MI FB/HB Ben VanSumeren and MO WR Ronnie Bell, light on scouting for a relatively obscure guy.

Welschof does have a fringe four-star ranking from 24/7, excellent size at 6'6" 248, and a camp outing at Michigan. So he's only sleeper-ish.

The other thing to keep an eye on: who signs and who does not. Someone who doesn't sign probably isn't actually a commit. GA LB Otis Reese will wait until February as he decides between Michigan and Georgia. DC QB Kevin Doyle told Nick Baumgardner that he will sign in February with his teammates. Doyle hasn't undertaken any non-Michigan recruiting activity after his commit and came in with full knowledge that Joe Milton was also in the class, so that's probably not the prelude to a departure. I can't imagine Shea Patterson is going to make an impact on a guy two classes behind him.

[UPDATE: also there's this:

Wouldn't expect that would impact his status in the class at all.]

So what's left?

Not much. We'll take Doyle at his word, so Michigan has 18 commitments and Reese in a class that I thought might get up to 22, tops, before Shea Patterson transferred in. The fish still on the hook:

  • LA WR JaMarr Chase. Chase just visited TCU. He has an official to LSU scheduled in January. Both TCU and LSU folks are talking up their chances. Kind of feels like an "everyone hears the good things" kind of recruitment.
  • CA WR Chris Olave. Olave had to cancel his official last weekend but tells Greg Biggins that he plans to reschedule it in January. UCLA, OSU, Utah, and one of USC or Tennesssee appears to be the top five there. There was some optimism in Ann Arbor about Olave prior to last weekend, FWIW. He still seems pretty wide open.
  • FL OL Nicholas Petit-Frere. Petit-Frere appears to be a genuine mystery recruit; since his last Michigan visit nothing of note has really happened. Florida is "in the thick of it"; Loy says ND is "definitely still involved"; etc. Nobody really knows.
  • AZ OL Jarrett Patterson. Patterson took his UCLA trip, and both UCLA and Michigan sources believe UCLA still trails afterwards per Lorenz and the UCLA 24/7 site. (Sort of: Patterson "still might be leaning" to Michigan, per those guys. Very wishy-washy language.)  He is still going to wait for February, it appears, but if Michigan is still ahead in the immediate aftermath of an official to his other finalist that bodes very well. We've put in a CB for Patterson to Michigan.
  • GA OL Jalen Goss. Goss visited Auburn and is taking his recruitment to Signing Day. I don't think Michigan will end up being a major factor for him.
  • NJ DT Tyler Friday. A Brian Dohn CB to OSU put folks on alert but it doesn't appear to be causing a stampede of any variety; the subsequent two picks, one from an OSU guy, are to Michigan. Sam Webb completed another three-part odyessy with a recruit's parent, and those are almost always indicators that the kid in question will end up in a winged helmet. Still looking good there.
  • GA ATH Michael Barrett. Barrett has had no recruiting activity since his visit to Michigan but oddly has not pulled the trigger. Starting to wonder if he has a committable offer at this instant. He's the kind of guy who would probably want to secure a spot and sign early, right?

The most likely outcome is probably Patterson, Friday, and Barrett. Oh, and maybe...

Krieger Clone #5

Archer 5x11_00045

pictured: Michigan's 2020 secondary

Michigan tossed out an offer to MI CB Vincent Gray two days ago, and I am confused about this. Outgoing defensive backs: zero. Incoming defensive backs: four. Gray does fit this class's model of a fleet of interchangeable 6'2" guys with long arms, but surely four of those dudes in one class is sufficient? I don't know.

Gray is a Mizzou soft commit who's taken recent visits to Iowa State and West Virginia. The Mountaineers expected to add him to their class today, but the Michigan offer appears to have successfully gotten him to wait:

By all accounts, Gray was set to sign with the Mountaineers on Wednesday, despite his "commitment" (rumors are he already decommitted) to Missouri. The Wolverines have asked him to wait, though, and he says that he likely will, choosing to visit Ann Arbor in January and then sign with a school later.

The WVU site believes the Michigan offer is a contingent one, FWIW. Given the way the board looks I'd be surprised if there wasn't a spot for him down the road. 


Former Michigan commit Leonard Taylor currently forecast to go to... Kentucky. Bad move on the decommit.