Is Lincoln University defensive linebacker Kay Gray obsessed with making it to the NFL?
“I drew it on my body,” Gray said.
Not every tattoo has to demonstrate an obsession, but Gray says the one on his right shoulder does. There is an NFL logo, with the words “Chasing Your Dreams”.
“I’ve had my freshman year of college,” Gray said recently, sitting in Lincoln’s athletic department.
It was again at Rutgers, where Gray began his college career. Lincoln U, his current station, now qualifies as a Last Chance U, simply because after this season, Gray is out of eligibility, and possibly chances. Is it possible to bypass your Google history? Outperform past business? Get your NFL scouts excited about who you are, not what you did? Convince them that the past shaped you but doesn’t know you?
Gray’s Lincoln head coach, Josh Dean, said he only coached two players at different stations which made him say to himself, “This is an NFL player.” One of those, Dean said, who has gone so far as to coach the NFL team himself, is the son of Vernon Dean, a defensive linebacker who has played and won two Super Bowls.
Google searches for the coach is not the problem. Google Kai Gray and Rutgers and you don’t even have to scroll to get to “More Previous Rutgers Safety Legal Issues KJ Gray” and then “8 Rutgers players linked to credit card fraud scheme. “
From NJ.com: “Players have been accused of stealing credit card numbers and transferring money from various Rutgers Express University accounts for their personal use.”
More on how to charge Gray in the second degree Because the investigation indicated that he was the one who actually masterminded the whole plot.”
All of the Rutgers players paid the university $11,250 allegedly earned in 2018 and were placed in a pre-trial intervention program, which means the charges will be expunged, their criminal record erased, if they avoid any new offenses for 18 months. This is what happened to Gray. A New Jersey criminal search for Gray shows no record, including the Rutgers episode.
While those charges can be crossed out, Gray talks about how they didn’t disappear on Google. His Lincoln coaches say one goal for them is to try and bring up some new positive facts of their own when using the Google Gray name.
After Rutgers, Gray moved to FCS Sam Houston State authority, played a season… (there’s not much to Google there)… and then a short stop last year in Kansas at NAIA Tabor College. (NFL teams You may have a quick question from Googlealthough Gray never played for Tabor).
His coaches at Lincoln say the player featured this year at Chester County’s school district was a hungry, useful, in addition to being a rare talent at the Division II level.
“It was nice to have him around because he made some mistakes… He’s not afraid to talk about it and share his experiences with the guys,” said Frank Turner, Lincoln’s defense coordinator.
Turner added, “Google is a powerful thing. Everyone knows.”
Sometimes these tales are presented as moral drama. Is it necessary to root with or against Gray? Is it not enough to realize that he is trying to use his talents because he thinks they should be used? If he’s good enough, the NFL will ignore all sorts of past transgressions. Perhaps in the world of professional sports, that’s the real question: is Gray good enough that his past actions are seen as irrelevant?
Lincoln’s coaches had no qualms about including Gray, realizing he was a rare talent for their level. Turner said he tried to get Gray to come to Lincoln straight from Rutgers, but there were all kinds of high-profile programs trying to get him in at the time.
“Everyone was trying to get it,” Turner said. “Especially D2.”
Turner said, in his view, “You’re always dealing with guys who might need a second chance. That’s the only way for Lincoln to get Kai Gray. If not, Kai Gray is already in the NFL.”
Turner calls up some gameplay videos and sees why he thinks Gray, who turned 25 in August, is draft material. He points out how Gray has made 17 tackles and forced blunders this season against Virginia Union.
“He always finds his way around the ball,” Turner said. “You can’t train that.”
Here is Gray in the movie.
“The darn started near the line of scrimmage,” Turner said, referring to a play earlier in the season. “he shows [blitz.] View Now. He’s not playing the play, but watch where he goes back to the surface. Look at the ground it covers.”
In the clip, Gray ran from the 27-yard line to about 40 yards but the fairway fell patchy. If he gets caught, Turner said, “He’ll make an intervention.”
Another play, Gray is in safety, with the responsibility of turning to the center of the field. do that.
“He sees there’s nothing,” Turner said. “He’s a footballer now. He sees No. 3 seeping across the field.”
Gray was 13 yards away but got there to step in.
Turner does not deny that Google materials will be chosen by NFL teams.
“The world is judging you now,” Turner said. “Everyone has an opinion.”
Is Gray Google the same?
“Now I don’t do it as much,” Gray said. “But by the time I left Rutgers, I tended to look at Google myself a lot and see what people were saying. I was reading articles and screenshot comments…use it as motivation.”
He does not ask for sympathy. He does not deny his mistakes.
“At the time, you felt kind of invincible,” Gray said of what happened at Rutgers, entering the field as a real freshman. “Attraction to silly things, thinking you’ll get away with it.”
This part might surprise you: “When I look back, I’m glad it happened. You taught me so much. You taught me that the things I do don’t just affect me. It affects my family and friends.”
He’s not claiming to have ignored the whole thing.
“Throughout the process, I became negative at times,” Gray said. “I was depressed.”
As I drove home to Newark from Rutgers for the last time, “It was probably the only time I really cried.” A big moment, he said, was when his father stood up at the family reunion, “I just announced in front of the whole reunion that everything would be fine, he was on my side. Tell me, I’ll be back.”
Gray didn’t just work with a personal trainer. He himself became a certified personal trainer. Gray says the driving force in his life now is his daughter, who was born last December.
“Someone is counting on you now,” Gray said.
He is confident in his ability. He talks about enjoying this season “before I could get into the league.”
Why didn’t Gray simply try to get a free NFL test and go from there?
“A lot of us [on the Lincoln staff]The comments were, Gray has a year of eligibility left, Turner said, explaining that he should use it.
“He’s been out for two years,” Turner said. “He had some interest. People know who he is. But he’s out. He’s kind of right at that frontier age, whether now or ever. He’s in great shape. It wasn’t a typical thing, to be out of the house for two years. He didn’t miss a moment.” I’m thinking, the guy’s out, it’s going to take him two or three matches to kick the rust out. No.”
“Try to focus on the NFL-style workouts,” Gray said. He thinks he is a better footballer than he ever was. After watching a college movie, Gray will turn to YouTube to study NFL safety as Los Angeles Chargers’ Derwin James.
“I study it almost every day,” Gray said. “I visualize everything and then everything starts to play out in game time. I know we have the same size and frame. The way they use me here at Lincoln is similar.”
Gray is also trying to reverse engineer his image. He worked in youth camps, “giving information, and free rides on how to be a better player”. Without any sarcasm, he said he was trying to be a good example to the younger players of Lincoln.
He said he knows that NFL scouts are still questioning him about everything, researching everything. On its own, a headline from last year in the Hillsboro (Kansas) Star Journal wouldn’t cause a stir. “Three Tabor athletes arrested for marijuana.” Gray was one of them, when a 2011 Dodge registered with Gray was towed at 3:34 a.m. “due to illegal fog lights.” The report stated that after noticing the smell of burning marijuana, a police officer searched the car and found 0.2 grams of marijuana. The three players were caught in the car.
“It was just an unfortunate accident,” Gray said. “I just believe in the wrong time, the wrong place.”
“You have a certain car, you fit that particular stigma,” Turner said. “You’re in a small town. You’ll be stopped. I know.”
Turner said it’s not just NFL scouts who are potential players on Google. This is the routine on every level.
“It’s the smartest thing you can do,” Turner said.
“But people still judge you. The world is judging you now. Everyone has an opinion,” said Lincoln’s defense coordinator.
If an NFL team interviewed him, what would he want them to know?
“I just love the game,” Gray said. “Anything you will ask me to do in this sport, I am willing to do it. Whatever happened in the past is in the past. The person I am now – is completely different.”
The coach said some of the conversations Turner had with Gray revolved around dealing with his past head on: “Because this is your chance, this is your season that will give you the platform to say, ‘I’m not what you’re going to Google’.” “