Eric Gray comes from a soccer household, and he admittedly has many function fashions in that group. His uncle, Maurice Corridor, was a working again at Ohio State. His father performed working again at Tennessee State and served as certainly one of his coaches for many of his life.
Tennessee’s sophomore-to-be working again doesn’t flinch when requested to determine the most important soccer inspiration in his household.
It’s his mom.
Sharone Grey served because the director of her son’s youth soccer league, getting him began one yr early and guiding him — generally tenderly, generally not so tenderly — alongside each step of the trail.
“My mother at all times stated that she … when she was having a toddler, she prayed for a soccer participant. That is what she at all times tells me,” Grey stated through the latest version of The Slice, a podcast produced by UT to be able to showcase the personalities and private tales of its soccer gamers.
“And my mother was really the director of my soccer league after I was rising up, so I began [early],” Grey continued. “You possibly can’t begin taking part in till you are like 5 right here. I believe it is 5. However my mother was the director, so I began taking part in after I was 4. I used to be already on the like little bantam crew after I was four. I might at all times get my jersey first as a result of she was like the primary one to get ‘em. I wore No. 2 again then, and he or she would at all times get my jersey first.
“It was identical to rising up in any soccer setting. My dad was laborious on me as a result of he needed me to be good, however really my mother was extra laborious on me, as a result of I suppose she didn’t wish to look dangerous, most likely as a result of she was the director of the league.”
Grey stated the most important lesson he’s ever realized from his mother has served him properly in soccer, lecturers and each different side of life.
Positivity has at all times been the important thing within the Grey home.
“After I was youthful my mother taught me about mindset,” he stated. “She actually taught me about mindset. She taught me about talking constructive, not talking adverse, simply having the ability to communicate constructive issues onto your life. That was so instrumental into my life, as a result of there’s rather a lot what I do now, talking constructive issues into my life — like, the night time earlier than video games envisioning what’s happening earlier than it even occurs.
“Studying that at such a younger age actually helped me and formed me into who I’m at the moment.”
Grey’s mom isn’t simply his soccer inspiration. He stated she’s additionally his closest confidante off the sector, as properly.
“Me and my mother are nearer than me and my dad, actually,” Grey stated. “Like me and my mother, I imply, my mother is aware of the whole lot about me. I inform her the whole lot, irrespective of if it is like with ladies or with something. I inform my mother the whole lot. Like, she’s simply … she’s at all times been there. I do not suppose my mother has ever missed something that I’ve completed, any sport. I do not suppose my mother has ever missed something.
“That’s simply so vital to me, as a result of it is so how a lot she’s devoted her life — like, took away from her life — to ensure I’ve had what I wanted.”
Whoever pushed Grey alongside the way in which and nevertheless they did it, it labored. The Memphis native and former top-100 nationwide prospect emerged as Tennessee’s best again down the stretch of his true freshman season, accumulating 366 yards from scrimmage and 4 touchdowns within the crew’s ultimate two video games — a regular-season-ending win over in-state rival Vanderbilt at Neyland Stadium, and a come-from-behind win over Indiana within the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. Grey completed with a Tennessee-freshman-record 246 yards and three touchdowns in 25 carries towards Vandy, and he added 120 yards from scrimmage and the game-winning landing towards Indiana. He additionally recovered an onside kick late within the fourth quarter that led to his game-winning rating.