While growing up, Travis Gray became accustomed to watching videos of the Colorado Buffaloes.
His father, Lamarr, was an outside linebacker with the Buffs from 1988-90, helping them win a national title in his senior year.
“He would show me some of his plays and how much of a beast he was,” Gray said.
When the opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps was presented, Gray didn’t let it pass. A 6-foot-7, 295-pound offensive lineman from Cherokee Trail High School, Gray signed his letter of intent with CU last month and began classes in Boulder last week.
“Man, I’m so excited,” he said before moving into his new home in Boulder. “I have no words for how excited I am and how excited my family is for me. I’m just gonna do my best when I get there trying to ball out. I can’t wait.”
Gray’s father was a reserve with the Buffs, playing behind All-Americans Kanavis McGhee and Alfred Williams and taught his son to love the Buffs.
“I was always committed to CU,” Gray said. “My dad’s been talking about it since I was a kid. He would always get in my mind about, ‘CU’s such a great place to go.’ Once I got my CU offer, it was done. My recruitment was closed. I knew that was where I wanted to go.”
In recent years, CU hasn’t enjoyed the type of success Gray’s father enjoyed. The Buffs are coming off a 4-8 season, but Gray is hoping he can help head coach Karl Dorrell turn the program around.
“I know that coach Dorrell has been hiring a few new assistant coaches in the past few weeks, and I trust him,” Gray said. “I trust his vision and I think that his vision is gonna take us back to a national championship.”
One of those new assistants is offensive line coach Kyle DeVan. When DeVan was hired last month, Gray immediately went online and found videos of DeVan teaching line techniques so he could learn about his new coach.
“I did get a good idea what he’s gonna teach us,” Gray said. “It was really important for me to watch it. I know that when he comes, he’s gonna teach us to be nasty. We’re gonna know the game, and we’re gonna have a lot of fun.”
Gray said he previously had limited communication with DeVan, who was at Michigan this past year. Gray also works out with former Buffs’ standout Matt McChesney, who knows DeVan.
“(McChesney) knows him and he said that I’m in good hands, so I trust Matt,” Gray said. “I know that I’m getting a good coach. I’ve done my research on coach DeVan. … I’ve kind of gotten to know his style. I’m used to it, so I’m just gonna try and do my best.”
In addition to watching CU go through numerous coaching changes this offseason, Gray and his fellow class of 2022 recruits have watched several potential teammates put their names into the NCAA transfer portal.
“We’re not fazed by (the transfers),” Gray said. “I know that our commits are gonna come in ready to play, ready to fight for a position. So I know that we’re all ready and we all can’t wait.”
Gray is one of two offensive linemen in the class, along with Carter Edwards of Hattiesburg, Miss. Both play tackle and the Buffs return both starting tackles, Frank Fillip and Jake Wiley. Gray, however, is intent on doing his best to push the veterans and get on the field.
“I’m ready to take on that challenge and I know (Edwards) is too,” Gray said. “We’re just gonna stay working.
“There’s obviously a lot of new techniques coach DeVan can teach me, but I think I’m ready.”