And Tuesday night, he received an award that let him know that his performance this past year was among the best in the nation, in any sport. Gray brought home the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year in a ceremony at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles, becoming the fourth football player to win the award in its 10-year history.
The former Aledo running back was also named the 2011-2012 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, and is a two-time Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year. He also won the 2010 and 2011 ESPNHS Mr. Football USA Player of the Year award, becoming the first person to win that award twice.
Those awards will go with the rest of his significant trophy stack, alongside the 2011 Air Force National Player of the Year award, prep-All-American status, winning three state championships, finishing as a three-time first-team All-State and All-Area player and a four-time All-District performer. He earned first-team All-America honors from Parade Magazine, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and ESPNHS this past year.
Gray rushed for 3,886 yards and a state-record 65 touchdowns on 347 carries as a senior, while catching 26 passes for 517 yards and five more scores. During his four-year career at Aledo, the Bearcats went 56-4 and won three consecutive 4A state titles.
Gray set a national record with 205 career touchdowns, finishing second with 1,232 points scored. He set state-of-Texas records in career carries (1,218) and 100-yard games (51), becoming just the fifth high-school running back in history to pass 10,000 career rushing yards (10,889).
Gray defeated basketball player Jabari Parker of Chicago (Ill.) Simeon Career Academy for the boys' award. Breanna Stewart, from Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) High won the girls' award.
The Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year program began in 2003. One male winner and one female winner are chosen every year from the program's National Player of the Year honorees in six boys' sports and six girls' sports. The National Player of the Year award selection process is overseen by ESPNHS. The award recognizes a combination of athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field of play.