The list of college football programs that have given scholarship offers to Jake Wray is impressive.
It’s a list that includes powerhouses Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
None of them could match what Wray saw in Colorado, however, and this week, the four-star offensive tackle from Marietta (Ga.) High School gave his verbal commitment to the Buffaloes for the class of 2020.
“I’m not going to go looking for a logo or a place that looks like the best on the outside, but once you get on the inside, it’s not exactly how you want to be treated, or the life that you want,” Wray told BuffZone.com about his decision. “This is one of the only times I can decide what I want to do in my life and I’m going to take advantage of that. I’m going to find the best place for me.”
For Wray, who is 6-foot-5, 300 pounds, CU was the best place for a number of reasons.
“I used to live in Colorado for six years; I’m used to it, I love it, I have a lot of family out there and a lot of support,” said Wray, who lived in the state for six years during his childhood. “I went out there and took a visit and I fell in love. The biggest thing was I could live there if I wasn’t playing football. I could see myself thriving there as a student, an athlete and a person.”
Wray, who has a dream job as an NFL general manager, also grew up a fan of the Denver Broncos and is excited to live just 30 minutes away from his favorite team.
Originally committed to Ohio State, where his brother, Max, is a redshirt freshman lineman, Wray took his first visit to the CU campus in early April. He returned last weekend and verbally committed to head coach Mel Tucker, offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic and the staff in person.
“I’ve known coach Tucker for a while, so my dad was comfortable with him,” Wray said. “He’s got a five-year deal and he’s very impressive when we met with him.
“I love coach Kap; absolutely love coach Kap. I love the whole staff that they’ve got going on there. There’s a really big movement going on and my dad always told me about the times when Colorado and Nebraska and Georgia Tech were going at it in the early 90s. Getting to see all of that and then getting to see coach Tucker coming back and saying that’s his goal is to get back to a championship standard, that has to excite you in some way.”
Wray understands that CU hasn’t had the same recent success as many other teams that offered him scholarships, but he said he loves the potential in the Buffs’ program under Tucker.
“Not a lot of people think about Colorado as a football place, but it really is a huge, huge university with tons of support,” He said. “The alumni is all over it. There’s a lot of rabid Buffs fans out there. There’s so much vision for this program and where it needs to go. Everybody is excited, on the same page and ready to get to work.”
Wray still has some work to do in high school, where he hopes to help his team to a state championship in the fall. But, he’s planning to graduate high school early and enroll at CU in January.
“My bother did that and he said it was one of the best decisions he could have made,” Wray said. “I’m going to do the same thing and I can’t wait. I’m really excited just to get to work. I don’t like to talk about it a lot. I’m excited about the potential of the opportunity that I have. I’m excited just to get to work and help out in any way that I can.
“I’m one of those guys that just wants to show up and I just want to work.”