He’s the No. 3 running back on the Tennessee football depth chart and the No. 3 kick returner. That’s hardly a splash to celebrate. But given his level of competition, Eric Gray is a big winner from spring practice as a true freshman running back.
A four-star recruit out of Memphis, Gray is a speedster who shows a ton of promise. The job in the return game and at running back for now, though, belongs to Ty Chandler. And Tim Jordan is the fundamental back. Still, the shocking thing was for Gray to move into third behind them with Carlin Fils-Aime and Jeremy Banks there.
Banks has now moved back to linebacker, and Gray just leapt over Fils-Aime. Meanwhile, he’s been receiving a ton of praise in practice. Wes Rucker of GoVols247 reported earlier this month on Gray’s abilities and noted that he clearly would play this year, and despite the official depth chart listings, the praise for him this fall is what makes him clearly a guy who’s on this list for merit.
Gray was limited as an early enrollee in the spring due to injury, but it appears he still picked up enough to be ready to go this fall. That combined with his athletic abilities make him a guy Jim Chaney will almost certainly find use for this year.