MIAMI — Henry Gray worked through his sophomore year for an elusive offer from Miami. Hurricanes cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph first started keeping in touch with the defensive back in the fall, when Gray was an emerging star at free safety for Miramar (Fla.) High School.
Gray possessed the physical tools the Hurricanes were looking for. Rumph just needed to see Gray’s sophomore film. If the tape was impressive enough, Miami would offer.
“They just told me I had to make plays,” Gray told DieHards, “so it wasn’t that hard for me.”
The offer finally came March 9 and quickly Gray lined up a visit for the Hurricanes’ underclassman day Saturday. By the end of day, Gray had given his pledge.
— Henry Gray (@D1bound_zay2121) March 31, 2018
The 4-star cornerback didn’t know for sure whether he’d make his decision Saturday, although he knew it was inevitable. Gray grew up rooting for Miami, and the Hurricanes became the most high-profile program courting the rising junior when they offered. Unless something surprising happened, Gray knew a commitment was only a matter of time.
“It was pretty surreal for me given I’m so young,” Gray said. “Growing up, watching them every day, it was pretty big for me, so I knew I was going to commit.”
Now at Miami Central High School, Gray holds offers from Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse, Kentucky, Arkansas, Baylor, South Florida and Florida Atlantic. The latest 247Sports.com rankings for the Class of 2020 peg Gray as the No. 71 overall player in the country.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect has ideal size, and with added muscle could easily develop into a true safety. He possesses good speed and his lankiness gives him an added bit of recovery ability.
Gray said he and Rumph have already talked about a potential landing spot with the Hurricanes. The assistant coach feels Gray is capable of playing anywhere in the secondary, although Gray admits he wants to play cornerback at the next level. Still, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and safeties coach Ephraim Banda played significant roles in Gray’s recruitment.
“Very athletic kid, long with ideal size and speed that colleges are looking for. He’s a kid that did a tremendous job as a sophomore before he came here, making plays,” Miami Central coach Roland Smith told DieHards. “We’ve still got some fine tuning to do, but we’re looking forward to making sure he can be the type of player he can be when he leaves Miami Central.”
As other major programs become involved, Gray will hear out suitors. For now, though, he seems set in his pledge. The corner visited twice in a three-day span before committing, taking his first trip to Greentree Practice Fields on March 29.
The practices were exactly what Gray hoped he would see. More important, the underclassman day emphasized the familial atmosphere the Hurricanes pride themselves on.
“Miami is a private school, so it’s top-notch in education,” Gray said. “That was really big for me and just the family aspect. That was the biggest thing for me. It just feels like home and I’d be comfortable for three or four years there.”