MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Lausanne Collegiate School 4-star running back Eric Gray is headed to the University of Tennessee. The three time TN Mr. Football Award winner chose the Volunteers over Michigan, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Memphis on Thursday during day two of the college football early signing period.
Gray, the fourth ranked all-purpose back in the nation and fifth ranked prospect in Tennessee, originally committed to Michigan this summer, but reopened his recruitment in early December.
“(Tennessee) was able to sell me a vision," Gray said. "Kind of the same vision I bought into here at Lausanne. I fell in love with Knoxville. Going down there so many times. Didn’t get a chance to go to Michigan as much. Being with coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, coach (Chris) Weinke and coach Dave is really just a family atmosphere, and that’s ultimately why I chose it.”
Gray said Knoxville’s proximity to Memphis also played a role in his decision to sign with the Vols.
“I know it’s better for my parents and my family to be able to come watch me play," Gray said. "Everybody that watched me here can come to Knoxville and watch me play.”
Gray said he made the decision to go to UT in September while he was still committed to the Wolverines.
“Really when I went to the Florida game,” Gray said. “I went on my official visit for the game, I sat down with (Pruitt), and he taught me about his plan, and it sounded very similar to Coach (Kevin) Locastro’s plan when I was in the eighth grade coming into the ninth grade."
Gray said he expects to make an immediate impact with the Vols next season.
“I want to go in and help Tennessee get back to where they’re supposed to be,” Gray said. “Play running back, and be the top guy on the team.”