Regardless of whether 2015 signee Devonaire Clarington receives clearance from the NCAA in the next several weeks, Texas Longhorns tight end coach Jeff Traylor now has an extra body in his position room after the move of wide receiver Garrett Gray to tight end.
Now listed at 6'4 and 226 pounds, Gray is a redshirt freshman from Marble Falls who was rated as a consensus three-star prospect out of high school. A raw player because he only played two years of high school football after focusing solely on basketball prior to that time, Gray will now have to hone his blocking skills to see the field.
However, he could play initially as a flexed tight end to ensure that he has more favorable blocking match ups against linebackers or nickel backs.
What stands out about Gray is his pure speed, which will now aid him in stretching the seam vertically.
"Garrett Gray is a wide receiver from Marble Falls and the thing about Garrett is also a big body, can body up and can play an inside or outside, has very good speed," head coach Charlie Strong said after Gray signed in 2014.
"Kind of reminds me of a player that I had out of Florida and I told him that when I was talking to Garrett. I said I can remember going to Riley Cooper's house and I said he had the size that you have right now."
Of course, the Riley Cooper comparison is now less applicable since Gray gained enough weight since enrolling that he's now changed positions.
In addition to raw talent and speed, Gray's production in high school was highly impressve given his lack of experience -- in his two years playing at Marble Falls, he posted almost 2,500 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns.
He'll compete against sophomore Andrew Beck, sophomore Blake Whiteley, and senior Alex De La Torre for playing time in a tight end corps that doesn't have ideal depth with Clarington's absence or even much experience.