While Josh Heupel took over as Tennessee’s head coach Wednesday, OU plucked another Volunteer out of the transfer portal
And check another one off. When discussing the moves Oklahoma had to make in the transfer portal to put itself in the best position for the 2021 season, three positions stood out – offensive tackle, safety and running back.
What nobody could have predicted was that Lincoln Riley and company were going to go to one school for the answer at all three spots in Tennessee.
The latest former Vol coming to Norman is running back Eric Gray, who announced the Sooners as his choice Wednesday evening.
Gray joins offensive tackle Wanya Morris and safety Keshawn Lawrence as former Tennessee big-time recruits who are now relocating to Norman.
OU has a solid running back room, but not a very deep one, which made Gray someone very much worth pursuing. The Sooners understood they were going to lose Rhamondre Stevenson, but when T.J. Pledger hit the transfer portal last month, it left a gap.
A returning Kennedy Brooks along with Seth McGowan and Marcus Major gives you some nice pieces to work with, but OU has usually been hit by the injury bug in that room and needed to add at least one more.
The hope is that Gray, though, is a lot more than just a body and just someone who adds depth. During his two seasons, he showed he can be very productive.
Gray rushed for 772 yards on 157 carries last season (4.9 average) with four touchdowns, to go with 30 catches for 254 yards and two more scores in nine games.
For his two-year career in Knoxville, Gray rushed for 1,311 yards and eight scores, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He also had 43 receptions for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
When Gray hit the transfer portal last week, it was very easy to circle OU as a school to watch. What it came down to, interestingly enough, was a good ol’ fashioned Red River Rivalry battle against Texas.
Gray visited both schools over the weekend, and sources told SoonerScoop.com on Tuesday night he had informed Texas that OU was going to be his choice.
A day later and nothing had changed, obviously, and Gray is ready to see what he can do with the Sooners.
Besides the three former Vols, OU has also added former Penn State quarterback Micah Bowens and former Arizona offensive guard Robert Congel through the transfer portal. Bowens and Congel are both already enrolled and taking classes.
Gray will still be a sophomore for the 2021 season because of the COVID-19 rule change, meaning he’s going to have a chance to make his mark at OU.