Detroit Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said farewell to a lot of talent from his 2016 Division 1 state championship team.
Among the most notable losses to graduation were Donovan Peoples-Jones, one of the premier receivers in the country, a quality quarterback in Rodney Hall, who helped lead the Technicians to their undefeated season.
Softening the blow from those losses will be three-star senior quarterback Aaron Jackson, who is committed to Eastern Michigan, and 6-foot-5 Brandon Gray, a three-star receiver who has more than a dozen offers, including a handful from Power Five teams such as Arkansas, Washington State, Minnesota, Syracuse and Iowa State.
Gray is coming home to play his senior year at Cass Tech after playing his sophomore year at Southfield and junior season at Southfield A&T.
“I came back to Cass Tech last February and the transition’s been good, chemistry's been good," said Gray, who played in the 7-on-7 camp at South Lyon Saturday. "We as a team want to go (to Ford Field) and win back-to-back state championships.
“Jackson and I have had a connection since I was at Cass Tech my freshman year. You could say I feel back at home. The whole team is coming together.”
Gray, who runs a 4.6 40, says he has added 10-15 pounds since last fall to help him get the 50-50 balls; he is up to 190.
“I would say my strength would probably be making plays, high-point the ball very well,” said Gray. “I disguise my routes, but the best thing is how I high-point the ball in jump-ball situations. I weigh 190 pounds now, played at about 180 last year. I feel much stronger.”
Gray had 11 TD receptions last year when Southfield A&T earned a share of the OAA Red title and advanced to the Division 1 regional final, finishing 8-4.
Gray plans to make his college decision before August.
"I will definitely make my decision before August," Gray said. "I'm still talking to coaches. I have a couple of schools in mind – Washington State, Iowa State and Central (Michigan)."
Cass Tech should have a balanced attack with Arthur “Lew” Nichols joining Gray from Southfield A&T. Nichols rushed for 1,328 yards (153 carries) last year as a sophomore and will be Cass Tech’s biggest running threat since Mike Weber in 2014.