When you think of the best run-backs for playing high school football in Texas, you probably first think of the NFL greats: Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson, Ladinian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, and Thurman Thomas. Or, you might think of some old legends like Ken Hall and Doak Walker. And, names like Cedric Benson, Jaquizz Rodgers, Wes Danaher, and Billy Simms. But, a name often comes up when we ask, “Who is the best runner you have ever seen play Texas high school football?”
Jonathan Gray, Aledo High School
Jonathan Gray, a 5’10 ’195lb running back shared his first year for the Aledo Bearcats and led his sophomore for three years in the junior season where Aledo had a 56-4 record. He made a total of 10,881 yards and 205 touchdowns while leading the Bearcats to 3 consecutive 4A D2 UIL State Championships.
High school racing records
Why is Gray the second-longest race in Texas high school football history? Hall held 11,232 for Sugarland from 1950-53. Just behind the other one is the 10,000 Career High School Rushing Yard, the Taillon Shed. From Cayuga
The record for the fastest touchdown in Gray High School football history (nationally, not just high school) is better than 205, 1 Mike Hart.
He holds the third-highest racing yard of the Texas High School football season, with 3,888 behind Ken Hall and Trey Williams. Gray holds the record for most games in a single season with 100+ yards, including 16 in both 2009 and 2011. He holds the top two spots for the fastest touchdowns in a season, including 65 in 2011 and 59 in 2010.
In his three state championship games, Gray ran for 252 yards and four touchdowns in 2019, 323 yards and eight touchdowns in 2010, and 241 yards and one touchdown in 2011.
Gray was named National Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011; He is also known as the 1st Team All-American by Parade, Sports Illustrated, and USA Today.
Gray had a track and field standout. He has won the district championship three times in the 100m dash. He ran a career-best 10.58 seconds in the 100m dash.
The scouts, rivals, and ESPN all returned to the number one race in the Greek country. Gray decided to stay in the state and play for the Texas Longhorns. He had a productive college career, with a total of 2,610 yards and 18 touchdowns in four years. However, the career fell short of very high expectations.
Gray has been undefeated in the NFL. He was invited to the New York Giants training camp but the list was not made. Although other teams showed some interest, Gray never played professional football.
Although Gray had a disappointing college career and failed to make it to the NFL, he is easily in talks for the greatest Texas high school of all time. While the games were the most important, in the state title games, Gray was at his best. His 2010 323 yards and eight touchdown championship performances are one of the most impressive performances in Texas high school football history.