After an outstanding football career at Winterboro, Curtavius Gray will now take his talents to Faulkner University.
The senior signed a scholarship to play for the Eagles Wednesday afternoon on National Signing Day in front of his family, coaches and classmates in the school’s auditorium.
For Gray, playing football at the next level is a dream come true.
“It feels great,” said Gray, who was recruited as a defensive end. “When I was young I was always wondering if I’d ever get to sign. I always wanted to be able to go to college and show my talents, and here I am today signing and going to play football.”
Gray has been starting at the varsity level since the eighth grade. Head coach Adam Fossett said he improved every as each season went on.
“Obviously he’s gotten bigger, faster and stronger, but he bought into the concept that we’ve brought to the table and he’s a big reason that we’ve had the success we’ve had,” Fossett said.
In 2011, Gray helped the Bulldogs win their first area championship since 1997.
The Bulldogs were ranked as high as eighth in Class 1A last year, finishing with a 10-2 after falling in the second round of the playoffs to Sweet Water.
“We got a lot of attention from a lot of people,” Gray said. “It was our first time playing Sweet Water, which is something I always wanted to do.”
He had 105 total tackles last season, 43 of which were solo. He tallied 7.5 sacks and a win-sealing interception against St. Jude on Sept. 16.
At fullback, Gray rumbled his 260-pound frame for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“He had the breakout year I thought he’d have,” Fossett said. “On both sides of the ball he did what he’s supposed to do at 110 percent. Curtavius is the type of kid that never complains. He works hard in the weight room and works hard on the field.”
Gray and his senior class won 30 games in four years and made three trips to the postseason.
Faulkner began recruiting Gray at the beginning of January. After a campus visit a couple weeks of ago, the school made its offer.
“I went to the campus and I liked it,” Gray said. “I talked with the defensive line coach and he told me I could change the defense. I think I can bring leadership skills and help other players make themselves better.”
Fossett believes Gray will make be a good fit in Montgomery.
“He has an opportunity to be a big fish in a small pond by going to a smaller school,” Fossett said. ”He has the opportunity to play right away and that’s something that was a driving force in his decision. If he gives Faulkner everything he gave us, he’ll have a great career there.”
Fossett called Gray one of the most humble, selfless people he knows.
“He is quiet off the field but has the potential to be a monster on the field,” Fossett said.
While Gray said he is looking forward to moving out of his parent’s house and representing his family in the next chapter of his life, he will miss his teachers, friends and coaches in Alpine. He plans on studying sports medicine in hopes of becoming a sports trainer one day.
“I’m going to miss the high school experience at Winterboro,” he said. “But Faulkner is a good place where I can get my education and make a good person out of myself.”
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