, the nation's No. 8 recruit and one of the top players in the Lone Star State, committed to Texas late Thursday night.
The son of former Texas Tech running back James Gray, Johnathan narrowed his college choices down to Texas, Texas A&M and TCU before selecting the Longhorns. He'll confirm his selection at a press conference held at the Aledo (Texas)
field house this morning.
After the 2010 season, Gray was named the MaxPreps National Junior of the Year
after rushing for an astonishing 3,221 yards and scoring 61 touchdowns, including eight rushing scores in Aledo's 69-34 thumping of La Marque in the 4A-II state final.
Gray also captured National Sophomore of the Year
honors, and has been a fixture on the varsity squad since his freshman season.
"Watching him in junior high, he appeared to have tremendous speed, vision, and balance. When we got him as a ninth-grader, he had all that," Aledo head coach Tim Buchanan recently told MaxPreps. "He didn't have the patience and vision that he has today."
Buchanan said that Gray has also developed his catching the ball out of the backfield capabilities, improving one area in his game that was once a weakness.
"He's worked hard," said Buchanan. "I would classify him as a complete back."
That is the consensus on Gray, as he's universally regarded as one of the country's best running backs. In fact, Tom Lemming recently named Gray the top back in the nation
"It's pretty cool to be ranked [the top running back], but to me the real rankings are in college," Gray told MaxPreps via text when first hearing the news. "That's when you know you're doing something."
Gray will certainly get the opportunity to prove himself playing at Texas. He will join a backfield that will likely feature class of 2011 standout Malcolm Brown
Throughout the spring, Gray had been rumored to be a Texas lean, and many, even Buchanan, expected him to commit to the Longhorns several weeks ago.
As of Thursday night, Texas fans were already congratulating Gray on his Facebook page. He becomes the 16th commitment in Texas' 2012 class, which was already ranked the nation's best prior to Gray's verbal pledge.