Adding more talent and depth to the running back room was a big need in the 2019 class, especially with Karan Higdon and Chris Evans’ eligibility running out. After missing on its top targets at the position over the last two classes, Michigan got, arguably, it’s top two guys in 2019. First it was RB Zach Charbonnet and now it’s Lausanne Collegiate School (TN) RB Eric Gray as he committed to Michigan during The Opening in Dallas.
100% COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/Nwx0ShcRyq
— E.Juice¹ (@ericdgray1) July 2, 2018
Gray is a shifty, quicker than fast running back but has more than enough speed. He’s also a threat in the passing game. He reminds me a bit of Chris Evans in both his running style and his recruitment. He was kind of a forgotten target on the board but has elite potential. He’s a tough, natural runner with a great sense of balance and low center of gravity, which allows him to break tackles and be a go-to around the goal line. His game-breaking ability and pass-catching skills, as well as the unsolidified future depth chart, should help him have the chance to see the field quickly for Michigan.
This is a big feather in the cap of Running Back’s Coach Jay Harbaugh, who has been receiving a bit of criticism as of late. Gray first came on to the Michigan recruiting scene after camping in Ann Arbor and receiving a lot of attention from Harbaugh. That visit and those interactions put Michigan in great shape early on and landed him on my Best Guess Recruiting Class back in September 2017, as well as in January of this year. But then things went quiet.
His recruitment went pretty quiet during the time he was transferring back to Tennessee from IMG Academy. But things ramped back up quickly at the end of the spring, heading into June. He set up his official visit for June, which ended up being one of the bigger recruiting visit weekends of the Jim Harbaugh-era. That visit, his relationship with Jay Harbaugh mixed with a push from the staff and his fit at Michigan in both football and academics were deciding factors. The two-time Mr. Football and 2017 Gatorade Player of the Year in Tennessee committed to the Wolverines during his weekend visit, giving Michigan another nice addition out of SEC country.
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 191lbs
- Hometown (School): Memphis, TN (Lausanne Collegiate School)
- Notable Offers: Penn State, Alabama, Stanford, Tennessee, Miami, LSU
- Rankings: Rivals (3*, #9 APB) – 247Sports (4*, #95 overall) – ESPN (4*, #275 overall)
- Composite Ranking: Four-star, #248 Overall, #3 All-Purpose RB, #10 in Tennessee
As for the Rest of the Class
Gray is the 15th overall commitment, second running back commitment, and the first commit out of Tennessee. He’s also the sixth commitment from the mega June recruiting weekend but won’t be the last. Michigan is in fantastic shape with OT Trevor Keegan, DE/LB Aeneas DiCosmo, DE David Ojabo, and S Quinten Johnson. The latter two could join Gray in his UM commitment before the end of the week. As for the running back position, ATH Quavaris Crouch, ATH Wandale Robinson and ATH Giles Jackson look to be the top names left. Michigan is in great shape with all three, Crouch could potentially play both running back and linebacker in college and remains a priority while Robinson and Jackson look like they could be had by the Wolverines if the staff pushes for them.
Whether the staff adds another name to the position or not, Michigan already has the best 1-2 punch in the entire 2019 class at the position.
Photo Credit: TONY MARABLE | HERALD-CITIZEN