The Texas Longhorns will add another player to the College Football Hall of Fame this year with the announcement that former defensive back Jerry Gray has been given the prestigious honor of being named to one of college football's most exclusive clubs.
The 17th player to make it into the Hall of Fame for college football, Gray is the 19th overall, joining coaches Darrell K Royla and D.X. Bible. He was understandably humbled by the honor:
[This is] probably one of the highest honors you can get when you play in college football. You don't dream of ever being one of the elite guys to ever play college football, and I think you have to be on really good football teams for them to recognize you. And to me it's just a great honor to be recognized as one of the top football players to have ever played on the college level.
One of the stalwarts of what many consider the greatest Texas defense of all time on the 1983 team that came up just short of the national championship, Gray's list of accomplishments in Austin is a long one:
A four-year letterman at defensive back from 1981-84, Gray is one of only seven Longhorns to earn two-time consensus All-America honors, as he did in 1983 and 1984. He earned unanimous honors as a senior and is still one of only 20 players in UT history to accomplish that feat. He was also a two-time Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1983-84. Inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1996, Gray is also a member of the Texas All-Time Team and All-Decade Team for the 1980's.
Gray finished his career ranked second on the UT career interceptions list and still stands third with 16, just one behind record holders Noble Doss and Nathan Vasher. He is also tied with Vasher and three others for second on the single-season interceptions list after pulling in seven in 1984. He shared that record until S Earl Thomas set a mark with eight in 2009. Gray also finished his career fourth on the career fumble recoveries list and still stands eighth with six recoveries.
After leaving Texas, Gray went on to play nine years in the NFL and has now spent 16 years as a coach in the league, including the last two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans after his extremely brief stint as the defensive backs coach for the Longhorns.
Gray is one of the 12 who will be inducted this year, including Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, who has long been considered a major snub. They will be inducted in December.