By Keenan Cummings
Camp season is important for those prospects that will be seniors this coming fall as they look to make their last impressions on college coaches prior to their final seasons of high school football.
Yes, that much is true. But it’s not only a platform for those types, and in fact it could be argued that it’s just as important, if not more, for underclassmen.
WVU held its second camp of the summer Monday, and it brought out a number of underclassmen that will be squarely on the radar for the program moving forward.
The Mountaineers have been aggressive in mining the state of North Carolina of late, and one prospect from the Tar Heel State that was on campus was Ardrey Kell 2020 wide receiver Cedric Gray. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder, already held scholarships from Marshall, Kent State and some others, but he made the trek north to compete in the WVU camp with hopes of walking away with a scholarship offer.
The coaching staff has been in contact with Gray for quite some time, led by the efforts of offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, and the assistant has been intrigued with the skill set of the playmaker.
That was on display at the camp where Gray was used primarily as a vertical threat and showcased his ability to go up and get the football against smaller defensive backs.
The camp also afforded Gray the opportunity to get to know wide receivers coach Tyron Carrier and see how he meshed with his coaching.
“It was a good experience. I liked the coaching. All of the coaches were really getting onto me and trying to give me good points,” Gray said. “I was really impressed. After every rep, two or three coaches came up to me and I just really enjoyed it.”
Gray referred to WVU as his dream school and didn’t hesitate to say that he would like to play for the program, but there is obviously a long way to go in the process.
Another 2020 prospect in attendance was Beaufort (S.C.) Hilton Head cornerback Christian Miller, and he was making his second trip to campus after visiting for the Texas game last fall. He already attracted several scholarships as well, including South Florida but again, WVU is a program standing out.
“I love West Virginia. It always holds a special place in my heart,” he said.
Part of that is his experience during that first trip but another is the fact that his cousin former Clemson graduate transfer Jabril Robinson is now on the team. He has discussed with Miller about the school.
The cornerback put his speed and hands on display in coverage but, like Gray, is waiting on word if he will end up receiving a scholarship offer. Still, he was impressed with the camp setting.
“I loved the coaches. They worked me and I enjoyed it,” he said.
Now after a stop at camp, both players are anticipating a return trip this fall.
Keenan Cummings is the Senior Writer for WVSports.com with the Rivals.com/Yahoo Network.