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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 20 2012

Illinois receiver verbally commits to Bison football team

FARGO – North Dakota State continued its emphasis on recruiting receivers with a highly touted high school senior in the state of Illinois. Demetrius Gray of Waubonsie Valley gave his verbal commitment Thursday night, said Paul Murphy, his high school coach.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder was rated the third-best prospect at his position by Illinois high school website EdgyTim.com before the season began. He also had offers from Illinois State and Indiana State of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

“He is that taller wide receiver that coaches are looking for,” Murphy said. “Once Dee adjusts to the speed of the college game, he will become a contributor to the NDSU program.”

He joins Carey Woods of Bemidji, Minn., and DeSean Warren of Overland Park, Kan., as receiver commits. Waubonsie Valley is located in the western Chicago suburb of Aurora, Ill.,

Gray had 19 receptions for 366 yards, a 19.3-yard average, but six of his catches went for touchdowns. The Warriors didn’t throw a lot, either: The starting quarterback was 42 of 87 for the season.

As a junior, he had 27 receptions for 566 yards and six touchdowns.

“I’ll be honest I really didn’t have any thought of going to NDSU,” Gray told Rivals.com, “but after the official visit they really gave me a lot to think about. I had a great visit and NDSU has a lot to offer.”

His visit was the weekend the Bison hosted Georgia Southern in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision semifinals. The sold-out Fargodome made an impact.

“The Fargodome was almost too loud to be honest,” he said. “It felt like a Big 12 or a Big Ten type of game and atmosphere. Everyone in town goes to the Bison games in Fargo and it’s almost like an NFL team, because the players are like celebrities there. The Bison have a really good team and they also have plans for me and the roster situation looks pretty promising there.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia