February 27, 2008

Gray now holds two offers

After sustaining a tear in his ACL and having surgery last spring, Joel Gray was able to return to the playing fielding just four and a half months into his rehab, playing in 11 out of his team's 14 games. Now, almost a year later, Gray is focused on proving he's still one of the best offensive linemen in the state.

"Offseason and everything is going really well," he explained. "We've been working really hard in the weight room and focusing on lifting hard. Everything has been great with my knee and everything, so I'm just working on getting as strong as I can. I couldn't tell you what I'm doing right now as far as squat or power clean maxes or anything, because we haven't been doing that sort of thing really, but I am really just trying to get better every day."

On the recruiting front, Gray, who received his first offer (Texas Tech) back in September, received his second offer this week.

"I actually got an offer from Arizona today," he said on Tuesday night. "It was a little surprising to be honest with you. "The guy recruiting me is Sonny Dykes, who used to coach at Tech, so I think that's the connection there."

The athletic big man, who could be considered one of the most underrated players in the state right now, says that a relationship formed many years ago by his offensive line coach could be responsible for his latest offer.

"Well, Coach Dykes' dad, Spike Dykes, was the head coach at Tech before Coach Leach, and my offensive line coach, Mike McBride, played for him there, so I think that's how they found out about me," said the two year varsity starter. "I had talked to Coach Dykes a little bit, but I didn't expect an offer, and then my coach gave me my stack of mail today and there was an offer, so that was a really pleasant surprise."

However, McBride isn't the only Tech alum who has Gray's ear.

"Coach McBride and Dane Johnson, our defensive coordinator, both went to Tech," he laughed. "So they're always giving me a hard time about it. They're really great about making sure I don't feel pressured though. They're both really high on Tech and they have a ton of great things to say, but they always make sure to let me know they're behind me no matter what."

Gray, who appears to one of the highest priorities in Tech's 2009 class, will be in attendance this weekend at the Red Raiders' junior day.

Check out this week's Red Raider Confidential for more on Gray's weekend plans.

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