Texas A&M's Cyrus Gray shows leadership side to NFL scouts

Posted Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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COLLEGE STATION -- Satisfied with his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine last month, Cyrus Gray was relegated to a Yell Leader for most of Texas A&M's Pro Day.

"That's always been me," the DeSoto native said. "I'm everybody's biggest fan and biggest supporter. I know those are my brothers, and that's what we do -- help them out like we do in a game."

On Wednesday, Gray did the long shuttle and participated in position drills. Otherwise, he stood on the sideline in his sweats, as the 12th Man, rooting on 11 Aggies teammates, including receiver Jeff Fuller.

Fuller had not been expected to work out Wednesday after developing a stress fracture in his foot at the Senior Bowl. He still will catch passes from Ryan Tannehill at the McFerrin Indoor Facility on March 29 during Tannehill's turn in front of scouts.

But, with Fuller's foot "90 percent" healed, the A&M receiver ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash, had a 36-inch vertical jump and showed off his route running and his hands in position drills Wednesday.

"The bone is calcifying," Fuller said. "Since it's healing, I wanted to come out. I can pretty much run on it until it hurts."

Gray and cornerback Coryell Judie, however, are the Aggies' top prospects outside of Tannehill. Gray could go as high as the third round after back-to-back, 1,000-yard seasons.

"He's a good kid," Green Bay Packers scout Alonzo Highsmith said. "He's a tough kid. He's been a good player for all his years in college, very competitive. He catches the ball. He does everything well. That's what I like about him."

At the combine, Gray ran a 4.47 at 206 pounds, did 21 reps in the 225-pound bench press, broad-jumped 9 feet, 6 inches and had a 32 1/2-inch vertical. He was disappointed with two dropped passes, which is why he chose to do position drills Wednesday.

"My biggest thing was to show those guys I can catch the ball," Gray said. "I think I had a real good day."

Gray earned a spot on the cover of Texas Football in 2011 after a junior season in which he had seven consecutive 100-yard games, six coming after fellow running back Christine Michael broke a leg. Gray opened his senior season with back-to-back, 100-yard games before the bottom fell out of his and the Aggies' season.

He missed the final two games with a left shoulder fracture, and the Aggies went 7-6 after beginning the year ranked in the top 10 and with high hopes.

"It was a hard year for me, not just because of my injury, but not winning as many games as we wanted," Gray said. "Also, the situation with coach [Mike] Sherman [being fired], and Joey V passing. [Offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio died in a December car accident.] It was a crazy senior year for me. My thing is coming back and bouncing back now and trying to help myself."

Gray will have his shoulder re-examined in April. Though it feels good, the bone still is healing. But the injury has done nothing to change opinions of Gray's NFL future.

"He's a very good running back, without question," Gary Reynolds, A&M's director of football operations, said. "He's a kid who is wise beyond his years, very mature. I do think that's helped him as a player. He always knows his assignments in the run game and in the pass game and in the pass protection game. He shows toughness.

"He's a kid who has grown as a runner. He's learned to be patient and see the hole, and then when the hole opens, he's learned how to accelerate through the hole. It sounds simple, but he's learned to do that well. He's got good speed and good vision.

"He's got all the things you're looking for in a back."

Charean Williams

817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

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