AURORA — Travis Gray will play football at the University of Colorado to embrace his family legacy.
On Wednesday morning, the Cherokee Trail offensive lineman gathered with dozens of supporters in the high school gym to make it official. Gray signed his letter of intent to join the program where his father, Lamarr Gray, played.
“I’m moved almost to tears,” Lamarr Gray said.
Like father, like son.
“I always wanted to be at CU,” Travis Gray said.
The Buffaloes signed 19 players to their early 2022 recruiting class. Gray — a 6-foot-7, 295-pound offensive tackle — will enroll in January and was described as “the ring leader of this class” by head coach Karl Dorrell. Gray picked CU over scholarship offers from Arizona and Maryland.
“He is a natural-born left tackle and a very good athlete,” Dorrell said. “A legacy player. He loves this school.”
Gray grew up hearing stories all about his dad’s playing days. Lamarr Gray was a reserve outside linebacker for the Buffs (1986-91) behind future NFL draft picks Alfred Williams and Kanavis McGhee on the team that won the 1990 national championship. He passed a love of football down to his sons.
Travis Gray started playing football in the fifth grade. But it wasn’t until his junior season at Cherokee Trail that he made it a realistic goal of following in his dad’s footsteps.
“A light switch went off, understanding his size and ability was going to offer some avenues a lot of other kids weren’t going to get,” Cherokee Trail head coach Justin Jajczyk said. “He made a commitment.”
Gray recalls a conversation with his dad: “Enough messing around. I want to go to CU.”
So, Gray enrolled in the strength-and-training program at Six Zero Academy in Parker under Matt McChesney, a former CU offensive lineman (2000-04). Gray said he lost more than 20 pounds while transforming his mind and body into a nationally coveted three-star recruit.
“He’s done a great job of focusing on fundamentals and his flexibility,” Jajczyk said. “He’s become a master of his craft on a daily basis. He’s really committed himself to the weight room and getting outside work. He’s a tremendous student as well.”
However, with less than six months left until the 2022 early signing period, Gray did not have a scholarship offer from CU. It accelerated the narrative of CU missing out on the state’s top prospects and, quite frankly, didn’t make sense to family members.
“We honestly considered a glitch in the matrix that he was not on CU’s radar early,” Lamarr Gray said.
That all changed when Travis Gray visited Folsom Field back in June for an individual workout with Dorrell and prominent staff members present. Gray left such a strong impression that Dorrell offered him a scholarship on the spot.
“I had my offers from Maryland and the University of Arizona,” Gray said. “But that wasn’t home.”
Gray does not lack confidence. It runs in the family. His older brother, Trace Gray, was a linebacker for CSU-Pueblo’s Division II national championship team (2014). Travis Gray is driven to help elevate the Buffaloes back to college football prominence.
Just like dad.
“I think about it every night before I go to sleep,” Travis Gray said. “My dad’s won a national championship. My brother’s won a national championship. I’m the last one. It’s gonna happen.”
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