Many people had no idea who Eric Gray was until the final two games of the season against Vanderbilt and Indiana. However, for those of us who live in Tennessee, he has been a household name for years. Gray is a Tennessee High School legend as a three-time Tennessee Mr. Football Winner.
In the seven games leading up to his historic performance against Vanderbilt, he had only had 42 yards rushing on 24 carries. He had a little success earlier in the season, but for the most part, wasn’t getting enough carries to find his groove as a runner. Then he was given 25 carries for 246 yards against Vanderbilt, and the rest could be history. He followed that up by winning the MVP of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
I have bad news for the SEC, Jim Chaney has found his running back at Tennessee. With the news that Tim Jordan is no longer with the team, the future becomes even more apparent. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing senior Ty Chandler, who is hoping for a big season as well. Remember, Chaney is the only offensive coordinator in NCAA history to produce two running backs with 1,000 yards rushing on the same team in consecutive years. I am not saying they will match the production of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel or even Elijah Holyfield and D’Andre Swift, but it will be a special year for the duo.
I predict that both players will go over the 700-yard mark, and Gray will eclipse a 1000 total yards this season.