(WMBB) – Mosley alum and Alabama State running back Ezra Gray has not only impressed many with his performances on the field this season, but he also has been turning heads with his academics as well.
Gray led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in rushing this season and was named a First-Team BOXTOROW All-American as a running back.
He’s rushed for 1,808 yards in his career so far which already puts him in the Top 10 All-Time at Alabama State.
However, Gray isn’t just know for his incredible football stats, but he’s also picking up awards for his work in the classroom.
“I didn’t want to put myself in some sort of box where it was just me relying on my athletics, if you can’t do this athletically, you won’t be able to do anything else. I didn’t want to put myself in that box because I’m more than just a football player,” Gray said.
He was recently named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star team and to the Co-SIDA Academic All-District Team for a second year in a row.
It’s no surprise that he’s adding more academic accolades to his resume.
Gray has been a two-time selection as the Magic City Classic Scholar Athlete, was a finalist for the Doris Robinson Scholar Athlete of the Year award, and was one of 12 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy Award, also know as the Academic Heisman.
“I was like looking at some of the guys who were finalists with me, it was honestly just a blessing really caught me by surprise I honestly didn’t expect it, it was a great moment something I’ll always cherish and tell my kids about later on,” Gray said.
Gray made national news this year as well when he balled out against Jackson State. He rushed for a career-high 195 yards and three touchdowns in that game.
It was so impressive that Jackson State’s head coach Deion Sanders even gave him a shoutout in the press conference.
“I facetimed him and everything and I talked to him a little bit just about life and everything he’s been doing. He just congratulated me on everything I’ve been doing and trying to accomplish and I wanted to thank him too for helping him bring a spotlight on all the programs in the conference and realizing it’s a lot bigger than the game of football,” Gray said.
With all the success he’s had, Gray knows he’s a role model for players back in Bay County. He said there is no doubt in his mind, they can do it too.
“Stay consistent in what you are doing, I always keep God first. At the end of the day the sky is the limit for you, like I said don’t let anybody put limitations on what you can and can’t do,” Gray said.