Mullen High School (Denver) running back Jonathan Gaye
has the speed and size to become a first rate DI workhorse. He bench presses 300 pounds, squats 400, and at 6 feet and 190 pounds, he isn't afraid to lay some serious hurt on would-be tacklers—that is, if they can catch him. Clocked at 4.35 in the 40 yard dash, Gaye has tremendous break-away speed and changes direction at full throttle.
From all angles, he seems like the perfect recruit for a BCS powerhouse—from all angles except perhaps one. Gaye went down with an injury in the third game of last season and sat out the rest of the year. It may just be the missed time in '06 that caused a few big-time programs to hesitate on the sure-footed sprinter.
Still, the injury was the first Gaye has ever had since he started playing football at age eight, and his durability shouldn't be called into question if he stays healthy in '07. As of two months ago, the senior-to-be already held six offers. Boise State
became the sixth program to extend the speedster a scholarship, joining Illinois
, Colorado State
, Air Force
and New Mexico State
Gaye has been laying low this summer, avoiding media limelight in an attempt to keep his options open.
We were able to get a hold of Gaye's father, Joseph Gaye, today and asked whether his son had narrowed down his choices at all over the summer.
"He's not sure where he wants to go and didn't want to give any indication that he is leaning one way or another," Joseph said.
Gaye is planning on making an unofficial visit to Laramie September 1 when the Pokes take on Virginia
, but his father did not say whether the big back is leaning toward Wyoming or any other school right now.
Still, the trip should give head coach Joe Glenn one more incentive for earning a victory next Saturday. Gaye would be a superb addition to the Cowboys' already talented corps of running backs, fitting in nicely alongside Davis, Darius Terry
and Jimmy DeAndrea
It may be a long shot with the interest Gaye has already garnered with other powerhouse programs around the nation, however.
Scout.com recruiting analyst Jason Jewell caught up with the youngster a few days after Boise State offered in June. Here's what Gaye had to say about the possibility of playing for the Broncos:
"I've been talking to Boise State for months. It seems like these guys really do a lot of homework before they offer. They say they try to find sleepers who are for the most part being overlooked by the big programs and hope they can hang on to them once the big programs take notice. That's how they got Ian Johnson
, their sophomore running back who was a candidate for the Heisman Trophy last year. Boise State told me they think I could be their next Ian Johnson. I know that sounds like a bunch of hype but at the same time I can't help but think they might know what they're talking about. To be the WAC Champions five years in a row, to be the only undefeated team in division-1 last year and to beat a powerhouse like Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl last year, probably the best college game I've ever seen, they must be doing something right."
Gaye said he had also been hearing from Minnesota
, Washington State
, Kansas State
and Arizona State
"Some of these schools might still offer before the season starts but a lot of them want me to come to their camps," he said. "And then I have other schools like Notre Dame
, Boston College
that seem really interested but they're telling me they want to see additional film after my first two games in 2008."
If those games are anything like Gaye's first two contests in 2006, he may have to narrow his list down to avoid getting drowned by letters and offers from other top programs. In just 12 carries last season, Gaye put up 275 yards and four touchdowns—against the biggest high schools in the state of Colorado. His limited action was good enough to earn him a top 100 ranking (88th) in the nation among running backs from Scout.com. That could well become a top 50 ranking or better with a few more games under his belt in '07, and whichever program is lucky enough to land the prospect will get a rare combination of speed and power that could turn the youngster into a future pro.
Still, Gaye doesn't seem to be looking too far ahead.
"I don't know, at this point, having missed most of my junior year, I'm just really grateful for the offers I have," he told Scout.com this summer. "I feel like it's time to start getting ready for the upcoming season. I'd like to lead my team a state championship. Not just get to the championship, but win it again!"
Gaye won the state 100 meter dash as a sophomore with a personal best time of 10.63 seconds. To view his player page and see some of his junior season highlights, click here.