COLLEGE PARK,MD -Washington (D.C.) Dunbar offensive lineman Derwin Gray is only a junior right now, but his stock is skyrocketing in the eyes of many colleges despite missing almost all of his junior season due to academics. The big lineman visited practice at the Chesapeake Bowl on Thursday and has some goals in mind.
"I want to improve my footwork and especially get quicker off the ball," said the 6-foot-5, 255-pound Gray. "I also want to work on shooting my hands better."
Numerous schools like Notre Dame, Miami and Michigan are interested in the standout lineman. Gray holds offers from 11 schools, including Auburn, Michigan State, Tennessee, Clemson and Maryland.
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"I think Auburn, Rutgers and few others really fit my playing style because I'm an athletic guy and I can do a bunch of different things and can fit into different schemes."
Playing style isn't the only thing that Gray is taking into consideration.
"Education is probably the most important part of my decision," he said. "My parents and I are trying to pick the right school where I can get a good education and succeed on the field."
Gray, who recently took a visit to Rutgers, is planning on visiting West Virginia and Auburn.
"I just got back from Rutgers last week. It's a great school and I liked getting closer with the coaching staff and talking with a few of the players," explained Gray. "I plan on going to West Virginia on February 11th for their junior day and talking with the coaching staff. I also want to see what type of schemes they run and how I could fit in."
Rutgers, West Virginia and Auburn are all in different conferences and Gray says he favors one over the others.
"Most people say the SEC is the most competitive. I want to play against the best and go where the most competition is so I can display my skills. I'll probably go to Auburn during the summer sometime."
Gary is back on track after missing most of his junior year due to some academic snafus. Despite the hiccup, no schools have backed off.
"None at all," he said. "It was frustrating not to be able to play out there with my teammates, but I have a great senior season to look forward to."