2019 Season Countdown: #25 Vincent Gray

2019 Season Countdown: #25 Vincent Gray


August 7, 2019
Vincent Gray (image via Wolverines Wire)

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Name: Vincent Gray
Height:
6’2″
Weight:
185 lbs.
High school:
Rochester (MI) Adams
Position:
Cornerback
Class:
Redshirt freshman
Jersey number:
#31
Last year:
I ranked Gray #98 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He played in three games.
TTB Rating:
71

For better or worse, Gray has had a rapid ascent in Michigan’s secondary. He was late flyer in the 2018 class, and he was not a highly touted player. The Wolverines seemed to have good depth at cornerback last season, and Gray wasn’t needed to play. With David Long, Lavert Hill, Brandon Watson, Ambry Thomas, Benjamin St-Juste, and Myles Sims (among others) lined up to play the position, Gray was buried. Then Long left for the NFL, Watson graduated, St-Juste didn’t play due to injury (and transferred to Minnesota), Sims was buried so deep that he crawled out of the earth on Georgia Tech’s campus, and…

…maybe Vincent Gray will be a starter in 2019. Now when this list was originally concocted, I expected Gray to be the #3 corner. But since that time, it came out that Ambry Thomas has been dealing with some health issues and might miss camp and/or the beginning of the season. That places Gray in prime position to start in Thomas’s place, opposite Hill. Will Gray be any good? On the plus side, Michigan’s coaching staff has spoken highly of him and they have never had a bad starting corner under Jim Harbaugh. On the concerning side, Gray is fairly slight at 6’2″ and 185 pounds, and his athletic profile suggests he needs to be physical to make up for a shortage of speed. I trust Michigan’s coaching staff to put good defensive backs out there, but if Thomas is out, you have to imagine opposing coaches will be testing Gray early to see if he’s up to the task.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

5 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1910
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Aug 07, 2019 at 9:46 AM

    Yeah, I can see a young & inexperienced Corner getting beat early & often, without our DTs able to collapse the middle

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5998
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 07, 2019 at 12:01 PM

    You make a good point about the coaches – Zordich particularly – deserving our trust here. They’ve done it with lower ranked guys (Clark, Stribling, Watson) and higher ranked guys (Lewis, Long, Hill).

    It still makes me nervous. Even if Gray hits we’re thin w/o Thomas. Who is the 3rd guy right now? JKP? A freshman?

    The good news is we have till mid October at least before facing any scary passing offenses. Will Wisconsin test them? Maybe, but a true freshman QB and rebuilt OL isn’t too scary yet.

    Hopefully Thomas is back by midseason and Gray looks like a decent player by then. Or maybe Dax Hill is playing CB and looks like the next Woodson. One can dream.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 07, 2019 at 12:14 PM

      I believe Gemon Green will be the next guy.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5998
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 07, 2019 at 3:11 PM

      FWIW
      Brown’s comments on CB:

      “Am I worried about it? I’m always worried about it, especially if somebody else goes down,” Brown said. “The general play – Vincent Gray is a player. So that’s a real positive. I feel like we just did the flip, because Lavert sat out a bunch in the spring. Well, he’s back and playing like Lavert Hill, so that’s a real positive. So Vincent, Lavert Hill – Jaylen Kelly-Powell has just continued to improve. Has put himself firmly entrenched in the two-deep. Feel good about that. Brad Hawkins we’ve kind of utilized his coverage ability as well on the slot some.”

  3. JC
    Comments: 284
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Aug 09, 2019 at 1:37 PM

    I was higher on JKP than Gray as recruits. Haven’t seen much of either of them. If memory serves me right, the only play I can think of where I saw JKP was at nickel corner either last year or the year before. He got beat on what looked like a cover 0 with 5 guys lining up within 3-5 yards for a 30ish yard touchdown.

    Rambling aside, I think I would rank Gray a few spots lower. We’re thin on bodies at corner, but we haven’t seen much from Gray at this point in his career. Quick shot from the hip, Hill and Thomas would be top 12. After that, I have no clue, with injuries, or being redshirt freshmen, or being true freshmen, they’re all relatively unknown commodities.

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