Rochester (MI) Adams cornerback Vincent Gray committed to Michigan on Sunday during his official visit to Ann Arbor. He had previously been committed to Missouri and had other offers from Cal, Kentucky, Oregon, Purdue, and Virginia, among others.
Gray is 6’2″ and 180 lbs. and claims a 4.76 forty. He also claims a 4.26 shuttle and a 33″ vertical.
ESPN: 3-star, 76 grade, #82 CB
Rivals: 3-star, #56 CB
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #67 CB, #689 overall
Hit the jump for more on Gray’s commitment.
Gray wasn’t on most Michigan fans’ radar until the offer to him came in December. He had been committed to Missouri since July of 2017. A couple weeks after the Michigan offer, he decommitted from Tigers, and the writing was on the wall that he was likely bound for Michigan. Oregon sneaked in with an offer last week, and that would be an intriguing school for a lot of kids. But he set an official visit for this past weekend and committed to the Wolverines before leaving Ann Arbor.
There’s been a lot of consternation over the offer to Gray, so I have watched his senior highlight film several times to try to get a good bead on his talents. The first thing you notice for him as a cornerback is that he’s listed at 6’2″, and even if he’s not quite that tall, he obviously has good length for the cornerback position. Michigan has placed a premium on bigger corners in recent years, and they have had success with Channing Stribling and Jeremy Clark. I think Gray uses that length well to jam receivers at the line, bat down passes, make receivers uncomfortable, and make a few more pass breakups than some shorter corners might make. He’s a decent tackler but nothing special in that area. I like the way he plays as a receiver, because he gives the QB room to place the ball, he catches the ball well with his hands, and he high-points the ball well. I don’t think he has the athleticism to be a standout receiver, but those skills may contribute well to his defensive play, too.
What Gray lacks is great athleticism. His 4.76 forty isn’t inspiring, and he doesn’t play much faster than what one would assume from that forty time. He struggles to pull away from mediocre competition at Adams, and he doesn’t have great acceleration. He’s a bit of a glider and doesn’t seem to be going all out when he sprints, although I have no reason to believe he’s not going 100%. His tackling could use some work; he needs better technique, and he needs to get stronger.
Overall, this is an uninspiring commitment for Michigan, but it’s not too disappointing, either. Michigan has taken some mediocre athletes and turned them into very effective corners, including the guys I mentioned above (Clark, Stribling) and Brandon Watson. I think Clark and Stribling were superior players, but Watson isn’t anything special as an athlete and does just fine when he spells Michigan’s starters. Not every player is destined to be a star, but getting a guy who can be Brandon Watson – essentially an effective spot starter as an upperclassman – is just fine as a late January pickup.
Michigan now has 20 commitments in the 2018 class, though it might only be 19. There are strong rumors that quarterback Kevin Doyle will go to prep school next year and slide into the 2019 class. Gray is the fifth in-state commitment for 2018, joining OT/TE Ryan Hayes, DE Aidan Hutchinson, OT Jalen Mayfield, and FB Ben VanSumeren. He’s also the fifth defensive back, along with S Sammy Faustin, CB Gemon Green, S German Green, and CB/S Myles Sims. The only other Adams alum to play for Michigan appears to be former walk-on wide receiver Joe Reynolds.
TTB Rating: 71 (ratings explanation)
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