Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Introducing 2014 Prospect Kalil Gray

Recently I was able to have a nice talk with 2014 Linebacker out of Langston Hughes High School in Georgia.  Not many of the recruiting services have done their rankings for the 2014 class yet so there's not much analysis as far as breakdown from the experts.  But Kalil told me he is at 5'11" 205 pounds.  Some of the sites have him listed at 5'10" and 205 pounds but I'll take his word over theirs.  Kalil does have highlight film out there and I have to say, I was pretty impressed.  Every year there seems to be guys that fly under the radar (2013 commit Channing Stribling for example) and I think Kalil has the potential to be one of those guys. This post is going to be a 2-for-1 special as I am giving a breakdown first and then I will share our interview also. 

My Personal Breakdown:
Kalil shows great speed and tackling ability.  Kalil shows good gap discipline and is very good in run support when he's filling and playing around the line of scrimmage.  He's one of those guys that has great athletic ability and has good football skills.  His area to improve would definitely be in pass coverage, as sometimes he's not as quick in getting back into his drops.  He's not the biggest guy either, weighing only 205 pounds. However, he's got plenty of time to grow and put on some weight.  Kalil is one of those kids that is a great athlete so that will help him out and he has ability to chase people down in open space.

Tackling is a big part of playing the linebacker position and Kalil has shown that he has this ability.  With it being so early in the game, I believe Kalil has plenty of time to develop in the pass defense part of his game and if he keeps improving on stopping the run, watch out.  He is only 5'11" and is not the tallest guy, which probably is what hurt him in the rankings, but if he puts on some good weight to go along with his good speed, he should move up on some of those rankings as well.  Height is a factor, but I put my stock into a player's weight and strength more than into their height.  Sure, not being very tall could hurt him in matching up with tight ends in pass coverage, but the fact that he's a great tackler and is good in run support should make him pretty capable.  He definitely needs to put on weight to help him get off of blocks, but he has time for that.  The 2014 class of Linebacker should be very loaded and I definitely think Kalil is one of those guys that will come on late and really surprise some people.

Here's the highlight tape:

Our Interview:
Well this interview was an interview I was planning on doing in the future, but because of the mutual interest between us, we actually got to conduct it ahead of schedule.  He said he had heard of the blog because he's friends with Ronnie Larue (someone we have interviewed in the past) and he liked it, so we conducted the interview.

Hoke's Mad MagiciansWhat schools are showing the most interest?
Kalil said that the schools showing the most interest are Ole Miss, Illinois, Georgia Southern, Missouri, and a couple others, but those four are showing him the most attention.  He also said that none have offered but he is thinking this season he will get one.

HokeMM:  Who Do You Want To Hear From?
Kalil said he really likes Ole Miss and Mizzou, but is also a fan of Michigan.  As far as a visit to Michigan, he hopes to do so sometime this season. It just depends on how his schedule works out.

HokeMM:  Your Starting Position? 
"I start at Outside, but I play middle as well."

HokeMM:  Strengths?  
"I think the way I shoot the gap. I have been working on that the most all spring.  My tackling and hard hitting are more strengths also.  I'm definitely better against the run."

HokeMM:  Weaknesses?  
"I need to work on getting back in my drop faster.  My area for improvement is definitely in pass coverage."

HokeMM:  Camp Plans?  
"In this coming spring I will attend the VTO Camp and Nike Traning Camp.  This upcoming summer I will camp at Ole Miss, Florida, and Illinois." He said he would like to camp at Michigan but he's not sure because he's got a jam packed schedule being it's his junior year.

HokeMM:  I've seen height and weight but what is it actually?  
"Right now, I'm 5'11" and 205 pounds but by the time I graduate I plan on being a solid 225 pounds."

HokeMM:  Any teammates have offers or getting looks?  
"My teammates Andrekay Askew-Wyatt, Josh Fuller, Devaughn Morton, and Jahlil Mathis have all been getting looks like I have but none have received any offers.  This is our year I can feel it."

Perfect example one of the guys in the Elite 11 had one offer and I guarantee after what people saw during that, it changed for him.  I think between what you do during high school football and what scouts see out of you during camps gives you a huge advantage and gives coaches plenty of time to see you. 
"Yes sir, me and Anthony Jennings (LSU Commit Elite 11 Finalist) families are very close."


One last thing that Kalil wanted me to let everyone know is that in Georgia they do this thing called the "Rising Senior Bowl" and if he gets enough votes he will play in it.  It's a game featuring the top talent in the state of Georgia.  That's a state loaded with football talent so if he gets in that game, he's definitely a top guy and it says a lot about his talent and abilities as a football player.

To summarize, Kalil is a great kid and the interview went very well.  He's getting a decent amount of attention including some schools closer to Michigan like Illinois.  I believe that if he does well this junior season and has good outings at the camps, he will definitely get some attention and scholarship offers.  Kalil isn't ranked on any of the sites, but rankings don't necessarily mean much and not all of the sites have done their 2014 stuff yet, so it's really hard to get a full opinion as of now.  He really loves the game of football and is one of those kids that isn't all about himself. He's also friends with some guys that are D-1 commits for 2013, so he's got relationships with top talent.  With Michigan's positions for the 2014 class, I'm not sure if Kalil will get an offer from Michigan, but he could be a sleeper to keep an eye on.  I definitely see him going Division-1 and I will keep in contact with him while his recruitment starts to heat up throughout this Junior season and into the off season as he starts to go to camps.

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