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June 26, 2013

USC offer alters Gray's recruitment

J.T. Gray showed up to USC's camp hoping to earn an invitation for a more permanent return trip. On Wednesday afternoon, he got what he was looking for. A self-described strong performance earned him his 13th scholarship offer. And, almost immediately, Gray returned the favor by naming a new favorite school.

"USC is my top favorite now," Gray , who was offered as a defensive back, said.

Gray worked out in the early session of USC's Wednesday camp and obviously did enough to grab the attention of coaches. So while he stood catching his breath following the event's afternoon workout, he talked about the process.

Never long on words, Gray put it as simply as he could. Before he arrived at camp, the USC staff had told him he had the ability to earn an offer with a strong showing. The way he tells it, he simply shrugged and did what he could.

The rest fell into place.

"I did pretty good out here," he said. "They wanted to see me work in person. I came and showed out and showed what I can do. So today, they gave me the offer. Coach [Lane] Kiffin offered me but I did most of the talking with coach [Clancy] Pendergast.

The reasons for USC's immediate jump to the top of the Chandler (Ariz.) Basha athlete's list? That's still a tad unclear. There was a bond he formed with the coaches. There's also the USC tradition. The cause was likely something of the sort, as Gray had not even seen the campus before anointing the Trojans as the team to beat in his recruitment.

Sometimes you just have a feeling.

"I'm up here right now and I haven't even really toured campus or seen anything yet," Gray said. "I'm getting ready to do that in a little bit. But, for right now, I like the football coaches and I like the weather. The weather is real nice."

Before picking up an offer from USC, Gray named Arizona State, Washington and Mississippi State as the favorites to land his commitment.

This spring, Gray was named the defensive skill MVP at the Phoenix stop of the Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under-Armour.



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