ESPN names Eric Gray as one of college football's breakout players for 2020

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Tennessee freshman running back Eric Gray finished the season strong with a record-setting 246 yards against Vanderbilt followed by an MVP performance in the Gator Bowl.

ESPN listed its players to watch for each of the teams in Mark Schlabach’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 with the goal of recognizing players who could turn into stars next season with breakout performances. Tennessee was ranked No. 25 in that poll and the player to watch for the Vols is running back Eric Gray.

Jeremy Pruitt might have found something at running back late last season. Gray, a 5-foot-10 freshman from Memphis, Tennessee, went from being an afterthought most of the season to being a can’t-miss player in the regular-season finale against Vanderbilt, in which he carried the ball 25 times for a school-record 246 yards and three touchdowns. He followed that with an MVP performance against Indiana in the Gator Bowl, in which he recovered an onside kick, scored the game-winning touchdown and racked up 120 all-purpose yards. — Scarborough


Gray appeared in all 13 games for Tennessee last season, rushing for 539 yards and four touchdowns, with 332 of those yards coming in the Vols final two games. He also caught 13 passes for 155 yards and a touchdown.

In addition to being named MVP of the 2020 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, Gray was also named to the 2019 PFF All-Freshman Team (HM).

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