The Irish continue to add skill to the class of 2023 with the addition of cornerback Christian Gray. The St. Louis native made his verbal commitment to the Irish back in July after a longstanding interest in the school. Other programs such as LSU, Ohio State, Alabama and USC were on the radar, but cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens and Marcus Freeman were able to snag the 6-foot cornerback.
“Mike Mickens is a guy that knows how to recruit corners and develop them,” Rivals Notre Dame recruiting analyst Kyle Kelly said. “Cornerback recruiting has taken a strong step forward.”
Gray’s commitment adds versatility to the defensive back corps which now includes returning rising seniors Cam Hart and Clarence Lewis as well as young upcoming stars Benjamin Morrison and Jaden Mickey. Adding Gray also strengthens a cornerback room that had lacked depth in years past for Notre Dame.
“I think it’s a pretty strong defensive class, specifically,” Kelly said. “Cornerback recruiting has been a weakness of Notre Dame’s over the past few years.”
Coming in at a 5.9/6.1 on the Rivals recruiting ranking, Gray is a four-star prospect with the potential of being a national All-American candidate. Being the 10th-ranked cornerback and 78th in the nation makes him the highest-ranked cornerback recruit the Irish have seen in years. Gray joins fellow cornerback recruit Micah Bell for the class of 2023.
“Christian Gray is their highest-ranked cornerback recruit, by Rivals rankings, since the [2015 class] with Shaun Crawford,” Kelly said.
Gray possesses technique and a football IQ well beyond his years. Described as “twitchy” with an ability to quickly change directions and easily flip his hips, Gray has demonstrated his ability to run with even the most explosive of wide receivers. This will bode well for the Notre Dame defense as they gear up to face some elite teams in the 2023 season.
Gray has the opportunity to contribute to the program very early on and join young stars like Morrison. Whether Gray will play early, however, is likely a question of demand.
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