Image Credit: 247Sports
Commitment Date: June 15, 2013
Hometown: Chardon, OH
High School: Chardon
Weight: 215 lbs.
247Sports Rank: #87 TE, 2-star
ESPN Rank: #35 TE-Y, 3-star
Rivals Rank: N/A, 3-star TE
Scout Rank: #64 TE, 3-star
40 time: N/A
Other Offers: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Louisville, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan
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Andrew Gray is one of the first players that Randy Edsall has recruited from the midwest in his efforts to expand his radius a bit now that the Terps are headed into the Big Ten Conference. While he didn’t receive much interest from any major school other than Louisville, Gray is a perfect tight end for Mike Locksley’s system.
With C.J. Brown running the show this season, we saw a lot more shotgun and pistol formations than we saw with Perry Hills taking the snaps in 2012. Many of those formations feature a tight end in the wing for an added emphasis on blocking from that position. This frees up the tight end to roam around behind the line of scrimmage to set up good blocking opportunities. He may shift to the opposite side of the line, or he may head into the backfield alongside the quarterback. He may even split out wide in passing situations. Nevertheless, the tight end must be both a good blocker and a good pass-catcher to succeed in this system. That’s exactly what Andrew Gray is.
While ESPN ranks him as a “TE-Y”, denoting his pass-catching abilities, he is much more than just a receiving tight end. Dave Lomonico from Terrapin Sports Report featured this quote from Gray in an article from last summer: “The play isn’t over until my guy is on the ground.” Some tight ends would much rather be catching passes and making plays, but Gray is perfectly happy with bowling defenders over. He’s got a great work ethic that will serve him well in College Park.
The Terps definitely needed depth at the tight end position this season, as the team will be without last year’s starter Dave Stinebaugh. The competition for the position will likely be between sophomores P.J. Gallo and Andrew Isaacs, but Gray could enter the conversation with a good showing in camp. The more likely scenario is that Gallo and Isaacs share time at the position in 2014 and that Gray redshirts or spends most of his time on special teams. He will certainly get a chance to showcase his talent however, and he could see the field sooner rather than later.