Gray's Dominant Performance

Johnathan Gray

Sooners Illustrated traveled to Aledo, Texas Friday night to check out 2012 Scout.com five star RB, Johnathan Gray of Aledo HS. Gray put on a show in this game against district foe, Birdville and displayed why he is being talked about as possibly the number one running back in the state of Texas for 2012.

Perhaps the best night to watch Gray this season was possibly the game last Friday night against district foe Birdville. Gray put on a dominating performance from the first snap of the game all the way up until he was pulled early in the fourth quarter. Aledo was able to pull away after halftime to win 40-17 in which the Bearcats never trailed in thanks to Gray.

Birdville's defense wasn't the best you will see and Aledo's offensive line did a good job blocking for Gray all night. However, Gray definitely showed his talent and ability that has people saying he may be the best back in the state of Texas or even the country for 2012.

Johnathan Gray (2012 Running Back, Aledo HS)

Stat Line: Gray finished the night with 21-carries for 313-yards and an astounding six-touchdowns (56, 75, 8, 72, 4, and 26).

Strengths: Gray is listed at 5-foot-11 and 195-pounds and looks every bit of it. He looks lean, muscular and appears to have room to add some more good weight. He seems to have the ideal frame for being an every down back at the next level. Gray's speed sets him apart from the average running back that you normally see on Friday nights. He gets to top speed in a hurry from a dead stop and also possesses a second gear that leaves the defender just watching from behind. Gray showed good strength at times running through and dragging tacklers as he ran through the middle of the Birdville defense.

Gray is a north and south runner that doesn't dance in the backfield. Along with having good speed, and size, Gray also has good vision. For moves he doesn't really seem to have or use in the open field Gray uses his vision well to set up defenders to help make them miss more often then not. Also in this game Gray showed great balance and displayed the durability and stamina he has being the workload for the offense the entire game. At one point in the second quarter, Gray took six handoffs in a row on one drive. I didn't get the opportunity to see Gray catch the ball out of the backfield in this game but was told that he is a good pass catching running back.

Weaknesses: On this night Gray didn't show very many weaknesses other than he appeared to go down a little easy a couple of times which may have been due to being tired. He also stopped driving his legs instead of trying to keep his feet churning for more yards on a couple of occasions. Gray at the next level could benefit from developing some open field moves to help make defenders miss.

Highlight play: Gray on this play took the handoff from the shotgun right and was met by the defensive end while trying to turn the corner. Gray did a good job using his left hand to fight off the defender shoving him to the ground while staying on his feet. Once he turned up field he split two tacklers and was able to keep his balance.

While maintaining his balance another defender slapped at his feet and Gray showed unbelievable balance without having to put his hand on the ground even though his right shoulder and hip were paralleled to the ground and his momentum carrying sideways. Gray put his foot in the ground and regained his balance and turned on the speed splitting two defenders and sprinting for the 76-yard touchdown.

Michael Wilson – (2012 Offensive Tackle, Aledo HS)

Stats: Wilson anchors the left side of the line that helped pave the way for Gray's big night. Wilson's play was a big part of Aledo being able to rack up 376-yards on the ground.

Strengths: Wilson is an intriguing prospect at the tackle position. He has long arms and a long athletic frame at his listed 6-foot-6 and 250-pounds. Wilson has plenty of room to add 35-40 pounds for the next level. He looked like a natural knee bender and moves really well. He has quick feet and was seen all night stoning the defender once getting his hands on him. Wilson did a good job driving his feet once engaging the defender. He also did well blocking down the line. He was seen blocking or looking for someone to put a hat on until the whistle was blown. Also did a good job with his hand placement while in run blocking.

Weaknesses: Wilson tended to play high at times in this game. He will definitely need to put on weight when getting to the next level. Wilson will also need to add strength in the upper and lower body. He needs to work on shooting his hands out to not allow the defender into his body while in pass protection. Wilson will have to work on a drop step when at the next level to keep speed rushers from turning the corner.

Highlight play: Aledo ran a bubble screen to the wide receiver on the left side. Wilson released and made his way down the left sideline. Wilson ended up 20-25 yards downfield and got his hat on the safety which sprung the receiver for an extra 10-yards.

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