CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The University of Virginia’s football program has invaded the Chattanooga area, acquiring two recruits in Karson Gay and Trey McDonald. Despite their high schools being 30 minutes away from each other, they were unfamiliar with one another until they committed to the Cavaliers.
“Some of the coaches were like, ‘Hey if you could talk to this guy, he actually goes to a school near you,’” Gay said. “I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I know that school.’”
Before Virginia made Gay a lead recruiter on McDonald, their staff was able to sell Gay on the culture that was in place in Charlottesville.
“Whatever we needed or had questions about, they would have an answer within five seconds,” Gay said. “They definitely made the decision pretty easy towards the end.”
— Karson Gay (@G1Karson) February 20, 2021
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound tight end at Boyd Buchanan did not start playing organized football until middle school, but that has not stopped him from becoming the 16th-best player in Tennessee for the 2022 class according to 247Sports. Once he got the chance to get on the field, he knew it was something he would be interested in long-term.
“It was something I had always looked forward too,” Gay said. “I liked it and I was kind of decent at it and I just took it from there.”
Year after year of getting better and perfecting his craft resulted in Gay picking up six offers in a week span in the summer before his junior season.
“It was surreal,” Gay said. “It was little kid dreams that I could actually go play football at a major Division I school. It all just kind of came to fruition.”
Gay’s combination of size, speed and physicality is what made that possible, something any defensive coordinator has to account for. Now, Gay is looking to refine his blocking ability more before he gets to the next level.
“It’s something I like doing,” Gay said. “It’s something I worked really hard on this past offseason, but it’s something I want to develop even more.”
Being able to block efficiently as a tight end at the next level will help Gay achieve one of his biggest collegiate goals: Maxing out his playing time.
“I want to be on the field as early as possible,” Gay said. “When I get up to Virginia, I want to make my presence be known.”
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