Trieu: Gray’s change of heart could pay off for UM

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class is strong in the secondary. There is length, athleticism and versatility with Sammy Faustin, Myles Sims, Gemon Green and German Green.

Vincent Gray of Rochester Adams fits right into that group. At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, he has the type of build the Wolverines have seemed to target in their defensive-back recruits. An all-state selection as a senior, his play on offense showed his ball skills, and he was physical on both sides of the ball.

Once committed to Missouri, West Virginia and Iowa State recruited him heavily in the fall and into early winter. He was getting ready to sign during the early signing period, but a late offer from Michigan changed those plans and he now will wait until Feb. 7 to sign his papers, with an official visit to Ann Arbor likely to come in between.

“He’s a very calm kid and has handled (recruiting) with great class and dignity,” Adams head coach Tony Patritto said. “He hasn’t said much to anyone, just gone about his business. I’m not sure what he is going to do. With the Missouri thing, I’m not sure where that fell apart, but Iowa State and West Virginia were hot on him and then last week when Coach Harbaugh called and offered him, it amped up even higher.”

Other programs like Penn State and Stanford also have shown interest despite not offering just yet.

Patritto has had Gray up with him for several years, and after an early impact, he has continued to develop.

“He’s been great,” Patritto said. “He’s been on varsity since his sophomore year and has obviously been a good representation of our program and our whole team. We like to play fast on defense and he is an integral key to that, because we can put him on any team’s best wide receiver and felt good about playing him man to man the whole game. He was very selfless. He played offense this year and became a real good dual threat. We did not throw the ball a ton, but as a blocker, he was really, really good, and that selfless nature really stood out for me as a coach.”

Patritto said he spoke briefly with Michigan coaches who wanted to crosscheck Gray’s abilities as a player and what type of kid he was off the field.

He checks all the boxes as far as academics and character. Then, of course, he has the physical attributes as well.

“Whoever gets him is going to get what everybody wants,” Patritto said, “a long, matchup corner. Wide receivers in college — high school, for that matter — have gotten bigger and haven’t lost any speed, and more defenses want to play combination coverages and man coverage, and it’s hard to find 6-foot-2 corners with feet and hips like Vince has, that’s what’s so attractive to everyone.”

In addition to his all-state honors, Gray was also named all-conference as a senior.

Two new in-state offers

Michigan recently offered two underclassmen in their home state, Walled Lake Western junior offensive lineman Jacob Dean, and Detroit King sophomore wide receiver Rashawn Williams.

Dean, a 6-foot-9, 310-pound prospect, camped with the Wolverines last summer. He holds an offer from Iowa State as well. He started for Walled Lake Western as a guard this season.

Williams is slated to be one of the top recruits in the Midwest in his class. 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with a penchant for making highlight-reel catches, he has several other offers, including Ohio State and Kentucky.

More information

Vincent Gray profile

Jacob Dean profile

Rashawn Williams profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at