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Four-star running back Eric Gray signs with Tennessee

Fills a big need.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at West Virginia Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

In three seasons as a starter in high school, running back Eric Gray totaled over 7,800 yards rushing. He found the endzone a staggering 123 times during the last three years. Today, the three-time Mr. Football winner in the state of Tennessee has committed to Tennessee.

The 5-10, 193 pound back decommited from Michigan earlier this month, opening the door for the Vols to pounce on the in-state back. As it turns out, Tennessee didn’t have one committed to their 2019 class.

Gray chose Tennessee over South Carolina today at his high school in Memphis.

247 Sports ranks Gray as a high four-star, placing him as the 85th overall player in the 2019 class. He is their top ranked all-purpose back and their second ranked player in the state of Tennessee. Gray plans to sign and enroll early.

Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan will return to Tennessee’s backfield in 2019, but that may be all that’s in front of Gray. Jeremy Banks is likely going to stay at linebacker going forward, opening the door for Gray. Both Jordan and Chandler will be juniors next season.

Gray flashes a little bit of everything as a runner. Of course the explosive ability is there along with the lateral ability, but he runs strong for a guy that only checks in at 190 pounds. Tennessee will likely ask him to bulk up a bit over the next year.

He probably lacks elite top end speed as a runner, but he made up for that in high school with his creativity in the open field. He’s a really fun player to watch.

A backfield featuring Chandler, Gray and Jordan could be a lot of fun. That’s if Tennessee can fix their issues up front. Of course, we still don’t know what direction the Vols will go offensively with their coordinator hire. Just knowing what Jeremy Pruitt seems to want, whoever he hires is going to make the running back a huge part of the plan.

This was a big get for the Vols and a need that they had to fill.