Virginia athlete becoming a familiar face in College Park

2025 Stafford (VA) athlete Zion Gray had made himself a familiar face in College Park dating back to last year, making his way to campus for multiple visits and at least three home games. So when Maryland hosted Charlotte in week two, it wasn’t a surprise to see the 5-foot-9, 153-pound athlete make his way back to campus.

“It was definitely good seeing everybody, seeing the atmosphere, seeing all the coaches again,” Gray told IBG. “I have a very good relationship with coach Lance [Thompson] and coach [Henry] Baker. Coach Lance always recruited me so I’ve always had a good relationship with him and I’m building more and more with coach Baker.”

Gray also got a chance to sit down with Thompson on the trip. “We had a good conversation about the game, about how my season is going. We didn’t just talk about football, but about life, how things are going.” Gray admitted that’s been a point of emphasis from Maryland through the pursuit.

“They show that a lot. Every time we have a conversation, it isn’t just about football. I look for that. sometimes they check up on me, ask me about life. Definitely makes me feel better and it makes the relationship better.”

Gray’s last visit to Maryland came back in June where he worked out for the staff, but his visit on Saturday night gave him a chance to check out what Maryland looks like for a night game.

“Going back there, I hadn’t been for a night game yet so going to a night game, get to see what night games are like is cool. I like everything that they do up there. I definitely love the vibe up there.”

Maryland was the lone school to extend Gray an offer when inside linebacker coach Lance Thompson pulled the trigger, but it’s the relationships that have kept Gray returning to College Park.

“The coaches, definitely having a good relationship with them. One thing I look at is how these coaches can develop me and how they can develop a relationship with me in football and outside of football. So definitely the coaches, making me always want to come up here. I always feel the love when I come up here. the atmosphere, being around Maryland, feels like home. Always have fun when I go to Maryland.”

Gray is planning visits to Old Dominion, Penn State and Coastal Carolina this fall.

Gray is not yet rated by On3.

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