Four-star running back Jonas Gray of Detroit Country Day has agreed to do a diary for Rivals.com about his experiences leading up to and following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The game will be played at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 5 and broadcasted live on NBC. Players reported to San Antonio on Sunday, and they will begin practices on Monday. Gray will share his thoughts from San Antonio with Rivals.com each day.
SAN ANTONIO - Leading up to today, I have just been getting a bunch of text messages from everybody about what I need to do and how big this game is for me. This game is really a stepping stone for my collegiate career.
Getting on the plane and seeing Boubacar Cissoko when I first got there, I was excited to see him. Then once I got to my connection in Dallas, I saw Terrelle Pryor, Jonathan Baldwin and John Goodman—there just a bunch guys to see. It all hit me when I saw those guys that I was with a bunch of guys that have the same goals as me.
I couldn't sleep at all last night. The last few nights I have just been looking at the rosters on Rivals and I have just been looking at the guys and watching their videos. I was watching film just to see what guys will go high and which guys will go low on me.
My goal is to be the starting running back. This week I am going for the highest goal there is. I definitely want to start, I defiantly want to win the MVP. I want to do everything that I can and work my butt off.
I would say my main competition will be Ryan Williams. I think he's going to be a tough guy to beat out. I think he does a lot of things good. He has great vision and great cutting ability. But I think what it comes down to is who can do it in the red zone. I think I'm the best guy for that and I hope I can get the carries in the red zone.
I'm also looking forward to going up against those guys from the West. I just hope we all put on a good show. I hope Darrell Scott has a good game and I hope Sam McGuffie has a good game. I want the game to be close and I want it to go right down to the end, but obviously I want the East to come out on top.
This game will also be a great chance for Terrelle Pryor to showcase his talents. There have been some people that have second guessed him, but I know he'll show people he can play.
If I had to guess where Terrelle goes, I would say he ends up at Ohio State. I could still see him at Michigan, but he's going to watch the Ryan Mallett situation closely. I know Mallett is going to decide after the bowl game and if he decides to transfer, Terrelle Pryor is going to Michigan. I have a real good feel for that.
I'm still trying to figure out who my roommate will be down here. I don't think we can room with West guys, otherwise I'd room with Dayne Crist. I'm just excited to be here. It's a dream come true. I remember watching the game in 2002 with my brother and I told him I was going to be in this game. Just to be here means a lot. But the journey is not over. Just to get here is not good enough.
Another great thing about this game is there are 14 of us going to Notre Dame, so we could almost hold a Notre Dame practice. We'll all get to showcase our talents and we've been the No. 1 ranked recruiting class for a while, so it's just a good time for us to show what we can do.
I'm hoping if I have a big week down here, I can get my fifth star. I know when you guys see my senior highlights and I have a big game, I'll be a five star.