Data Scout Notes: 2ndC/P1stC/POutland/PM2nd…09: HMC/PLombardi/P1stC/P2ndM/2nd team
Anthony Gray/Southern Miss football Videos
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Teams do not often drool over defensive tackles that measure in a shade under 6-feet. But that's nothing new to Gray, who has been overcoming doubt about his abilities since before he arrived at Hattiesburg as a two-star recruit. His strength and relative quickness for his size could trump any concerns teams have about his height coming up short of two yardsticks.
After redshirting in 2006, Gray found another hurdle to clear when he was forced to miss the first seven games of his freshman season due to a foot injury suffered in practice. Still, in less than half a season, with no previous college experience, he managed three tackles for loss and a sack. Gray then earned second-team All-Conference USA honors after starting seven games and playing in all 13, racking up a team-high six sacks. He garnered honorable-mention all-conference as a junior, with seven tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks as a full-time starter.
As a senior, Gray was the focal point of more than one opponent's offensive line but still returned to the All-C-USA second-team and set a career mark with 44 tackles, including six for loss and two sacks. He plays with great aggressiveness and energy, but his determination to get to the quarterback often causes him to run past the ballcarrier and completely out of the play.
If selected in the late rounds, it's likely NFL coaches will teach him to stay disciplined while lined up at nose tackle to take advantage of his natural strength and leverage.
Strengths: Owns thick, short frame, making him very difficult to move. Usually gains leverage, even against larger offensive linemen. Fires quickly off the snap. Pins his ears back and catapults into the backfield in passing situations. Plays with violence inside and flashes the ability to shed blocks in tight quarters. Anchors well and possesses good core strength. Fights to the whistle and works with a nasty demeanor and no fear. Is aggressive in pursuit and surprises with his tracking speed from the backside. Simply engulfs ballcarriers coming into his area.
Weaknesses: First step is inconsistent. Gets off the ball late, allowing offensive linemen to get into position before he can get a push. Too often pushed beyond the play, lacks great instincts and length to disengage. Fires past the run when looking to get pressure on the passer. Gradually rises up after initial contact, losing his natural leverage and allowing larger linemen to lock on. Does not change directions well, struggles to move laterally when his pads get out ahead of his legs.
In three seasons on the defensive line for the Golden Eagles, Gray has tallied 76 tackles (35 solos) to go along with 17.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one pass broken up.
Had 40 tackles including seven tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. In addition, he notched one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
A second-team All- Conference USA player by the league's coaches as well as Phil Steele's Magazine ... Played in all 13 games, starting in seven ... Had 29 tackles (16 unassisted, 13 assisted) ... Tallied a team-best six sacks for a total of 55 yards, including a season-high two sacks against Arkansas State (9/13) ... Recorded one sack against Marshall (9/20), UTEP (10/6), Memphis (10/25), and UAB (11/1) ... Added 7.5 tackles for loss ... Recorded season-high five stops against UL Lafayette (8/30) ... Added four stops in four other games ... Forced a fumble against UL Lafayette and Marshall ... Recovered a fumble at Auburn (9/6).
Missed the first seven games due to a foot injury sustained during preseason practice ...Tallied three tackles, two solos, in debut against UCF (10/28) ...Added one of his three tackles for loss against the Knights ... Also notched a tackle for loss against UAB (11/3) and Arkansas State (11/24) ... Recorded lone sack versus UAB ... Tallied seven tackles (five solo, two assists) for the season.
2007: Missed the first seven games due to a foot injury.
Played for Coach Brian Anderson, as a two-year starter on both the offensive and defensive lines ... As a senior, posted 104 total tackles (65 solos, 37 assists), 25 tackles for loss, seven sacks, seven tackles for loss, and one interception ... Recovered a fumble for a touchdown ... Also saw action as a short yardage running back, gaining 108 yards and scoring five touchdowns ... A Second-Team All-State selection by The Clarion-Ledger ... Helped team to an 11-2 finish as a senior, advancing to the third round of the 2A playoffs ... Finished with 85 tackles and 25 sacks as a junior ... Earned second-team all-state honors as a junior ... Also named Neshoba County's Lineman of the Year ... Named to The Clarion-Ledger's "Best of the Rest" ... Can bench press 450 pounds and squat 600 pounds ... Won the Mississippi Power Lifting Contest as a sophomore and junior ... A two-star rating by rivals.com.
Son of Ross and Hester Gray ... Majoring in business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and small business management ... Born March 15, 1988.
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