High School Sports

Templeton’s Gray headed to Hawaii today on football recruiting trip

Up to six times a day.

That’s how often Tyler Gray estimated he gets asked where he might be going to college next year.

“It’s definitely both exciting and stressful at the same time,” Gray said.

All of this past season, Gray, a highly regarded Templeton High linebacker, has been widely considered the top senior Division I prospect on the Central Coast, along with Santa Maria’s Mershad Dillon, who recently verbally committed to Fresno State.

Over the past two weekends, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Gray has made official visits to Air Force and Cal Poly, each of whom have offered him scholarships — as has Hawaii, he said, which he’s scheduled to visit after departing today.

“It’s going to be pretty exciting,” Gray said. “I’ve never been to Hawaii, so it’s going to be fun to see the island and stuff, but I also have to do my business and ask my questions and get to know the people.”

San Jose State has also extended an offer to him, and he has been in contact with USC, which is currently playing a waiting game with numerous recruits.

“It’s really cool getting these calls from these big colleges that I’ve always watched on TV and stuff, and to think I might have a chance to go there,” Gray said. “It’s a good experience.”

This past summer, Gray won the best linebacker award at the Randy Shannon Football Camp held at Miami. He’s rated by Rivals.com as the No. 42 outside linebacker prospect nationally, and as the No. 71 overall recruit in California.

Gray, who has worked with John Spells, who runs Speed Development, a local specialized training program, was recently named to the Cal-Hi Sports medium-sized schools all-state team.

Already named the Los Padres League Defensive Back of the Year, Gray was also selected to the all-CIF Southern Section Northwest Division and Tribune all-San Luis Obispo County first team at linebacker.

He made 143 tackles and had five sacks while leading the Eagles through their most successful year since joining the Southern Section prior to the 2006 season. They went 8-5, reaching the semifinals of the Northwest Division playoffs.

Gray also started at running back and was among the leading rushers in the area with 1,628 yards and 25 touchdowns on 205 carries.

He’s weighing a combination of programs’ players, coaches and academics, he said — independent of how close or far away the schools happen to be from home.

Gray said he’s planning on likely announcing his decision Wednesday — national letter-of-intent signing day — which opens a regular signing period that lasts until April 1 for football.