And while new head coach David Shaw has vowed to keep the smash-mouth football mentality, the Card’s 2012 recruiting class has put an emphasis on speed.
Case in point: one of Stanford’s newest commits, Texas wide receiver Deante’ Gray.
A blazing 5-foot-9, 170-pounder who doubles as a track star – he has been timed sub-10.5 in the 100 meters, Gray made the decision to commit to Stanford earlier this week.
He chose the Cardinal from amongst “about 23” offers, including recent tenders from Arkansas, West Virginia, and Vanderbilt.
“Really it was the perfect situation,” Gray said. “I talked to the offensive coordinator and he’s a real cool dude, and I feel the family atmosphere they have. Going there, getting the education, speaks for itself and it’s everything I want going there.”
Like one of Stanford’s first 2012 commits, Noor Davis, Gray made his commitment to Stanford sight unseen. He does plan to take a visit to The Farm soon – “if not in the summer, definitely an official during the season,” Gray said – but seems solid in his decision.
“Right now, I’m very solid to Stanford,” Gray said. “That’s the only school I want to go to. I mean if [other schools] offer other visits, I might just take them to take them, but...”
Although Gray had several appealing local options – Arkansas and Baylor, among others – Stanford’s case was helped by the fact that some of Gray’s family lives in Oakland.
“The Arkansas offer was intriguing also and Baylor, it’s pretty local, but my parents, they told me to go where it’s best for me, and they don’t have a problem with me leaving,” Gray said. “I also have family in California, so it pretty much works out.”
Gray picked up an offer from Stanford back in May. Since then, he’s gotten to know a few members of Stanford’s coaching staff, particularly offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and Shaw.
“I got to know the offensive coordinator Coach Hamilton, he came to my spring game and I talked to him on the phone a couple of times,” Gray said. “He was a real cool and fun and let me know about Stanford and I was sold.”
“The time I got to talk to [Coach Shaw], it was early June or late May and he was a really fun person with a strong personality, and I think everything he was saying was honest and was pretty cool,” Gray said.
Shaw and Hamilton envision Gray holding a variety of roles on the team, including return specialist.
“Definitely in the return game and special teams,” Gray said. “They run an NFL-type offense. I play receiver and run every route, and they’ll put me in positions to make plays in open space.”
Gray, who thinks he’ll major in “something in business or communication,” has yet to receive a copy of the Stanford application, but looks to be in good shape to eventually earn admittance.
“My GPA is a 3.6, and I took an SAT test and got a 1580 on it,” Gray said. “I’m probably going to take it again because I’ll know I’ll do better on it, because the first time I took it I hadn’t really had much time prep up for it. I probably am going to take it again.”
Not surprisingly, Gray added that he plans to continue his track career while at Stanford.
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