PDT Sports Writer
The thoughts of a grayshirt was something Jared McCray did not expect to hear prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
When coaches from Louisville told the Minford offensive lineman of the Cardinals’ intentions, he informed them of his plans to decommit and reopen the search for his college home next fall.
“When it all first happened, I didn’t really know too much about a grayshirt scholarship so I had to look it up for me to know exactly what it was,” McCray said.
The purpose of a grayshirt is to delay an individual’s eligibility clock by a semester by having them attend classes but not become an official member of the team by practicing or competing. On the night he was named an Associated Press Division IV Second Team All-Ohioan, the Falcon senior offensive lineman talked about his decision.
“After looking at it and thinking about it, I really didn’t want to sit out a year of college football if I have that opportunity,” McCray said. “I just want to play football and just sitting out a year was not anything that comprehended in my mind. I just decided it was time to move on and hopefully another spot would open up for me to play football in that first year.”
McCray spoke with Rivals.com Nov. 22 about his decision. The Daily Times learned of the news late Monday night and was confirmed Tuesday by Minford coach Brent Daniels.
“We’re starting over again with some of these schools, doing the visits and making the contacts again,” Daniels said. “We’ve had some new schools jump in and start to show some interest in him.”
Coaches from Minnesota and Kent State will come into town and visit McCray Wednesday according to Daniels. Since his announcement, McCray has visited Ohio University and will visit Cincinnati Thursday night as the Bearcats will play Louisville for the Keg of Nails.
Calls from Temple and Illinois, have also flooded the phone lines since the news. With the decision to reopen his college search coming this late in the calendar, McCray understood the opportunities to watch games live were thin.
Other challenges facing McCray are the start of basketball season and his recovery from wrist surgery. While he is not set to return to the team until early January, McCray doesn’t know if the injury played a factor in the grayshirt. He has received words of encouragement from one school about how he was able to finish the football season with a cast.
He is set to return to the doctor next week for a follow-up.
At this point, McCray is open to all options and could start narrowing his wish list of schools within the coming weeks. The National Letter of Intent period for football signing is Feb. 5 through April 1.
As he is restarting his search, McCray couldn’t help but thank his parents as well as Daniels for helping him throughout the process.
“They’re trying their hardest and I just want to thank them,” McCray said.
While he doesn’t know which school his prized pupil will decide upon, Daniels said the goal is still the same.
“As long as he’s getting the chance to go to the next level and getting his education paid for, they all pop out to me,” Daniels said.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.