Rocky Top in the picture for 2013 OT

Derwin Gray

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Tennessee linebackers coach Peter Sirmon has been one of the more dominant recruiters for Derek Dooley's coaching staff and he is working on the 2013 class.

His newest target is Washington, D.C., offensive tackle prospect Derwin Gray out of Dunbar High School. The four-star tackle prospect has offers from Rutgers, Auburn, Syracuse, West Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan State, Maryland, New Mexico and Tennessee.

So far, his interaction has been with Sirmon exclusively and the Tennessee coach has made a good impression on the young man from the capital.

"Everything has been great so far," Gray told InsideTennessee. "I have enjoyed talking to the people at Tennessee. We talk on Facebook and things like that a lot."

The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder said he would like to get a closer look at Rocky Top in the spring, but right now recruiting is on the back burner.

Gray already has an in with the Vols. He is familiar with Tennessee commitment Kenneth Crawley, who also resides in the D.C. area. The two aren't friends, but Gray said he will likely reach out to Crawley to inquire about the Vols.

Right now, the most important thing to Gray is academics. When he is looking at schools football comes second.

"I am looking for a school that has good computer engineering or journalism schools right now," he said. "I am looking for schools that have good academics and high graduation rates among their football players.

"After I look at all that stuff then I will look about what they have in their football program. I want everything to be a good combination between football and academics."

After acquiring scholarship offers from all over the map, Gray said that distance won't be a factor in his college recruitment. The best team will win no matter the mileage.

"Distance doesn't really matter to me," he said. "I am just going to go to wherever is offering the best thing for me. Where I want to be at and where I feel comfortable is the most important thing to me and that's where I will go."

The four-star junior is always trying to improve his game. Right now he is all about taking his quickness to a new level.

"Right now I am just trying to be quick off the line and always stay humble," Gray said. "I just want to keep learning and stuff like that. I am always trying to get better and read the defensive linemen. I am just trying to stay quick and not get stuck in the ground."

The pressure of recruiting isn't getting to this young man either. He just uses it as motivation to continue to improve his game every day and continue to improve his ratings.

"It's great to be rated a four-star player and everything like that, but I am always trying to improve," he said. "I want to be the first six-star player out there. I don't really feel like I am under a lot of pressure. I know my game and what I can do and I am going to continue to play the same way."

Dunbar High School is currently 4-3 and will square off with Roosevelt on Friday night at 7.

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