Gray celebrates after scoring his touchdown in the Semi-State Championship.  
Gray celebrates after scoring his touchdown in the Semi-State Championship. KOKOMO HERALD FILE PHOTO

Kokomo High School junior Javias Gray continues to get looks from football programs and scouts across the United States. The Wildkat defensive lineman ended his junior season playing on both sides of the ball because that is where his team needed him.

“Around week seven, they asked me to play tight end. Coach Colby told me I would have to play both sides to make the team better and I told him, ‘Okay. Anything for the team,’” Gray said.

Making the move to offense put him in the role of offensive line and tight end, which in the latter, he was there more to protect and make holes for his teammates instead of making plays on the ball. Filling that role ended up providing the Wildkats with an option during the Semi-State championship, when he noticed that no one from the Michigan City team was watching where he was on the field. 

“I was a blocking tight end. I would go out for routes and would be wide open. In the huddle, I told Kyle (Wade) to throw it to me. I’d catch it. He asked, ‘You sure?’” Grady said. “He threw it to me and I caught it. I was really happy about it.”

The Wildkats went ahead in the game and earned their bid for the State Championship in which they fell to Columbus East. Despite the final game not turning out the way many had hoped, Gray said he was happy with the result of the season.

“The regular season, the first couple games we were 1-2 and nobody believed we would be good. It was a bad start. We got Jack (Perkins) back and we started clicking. Most teams can’t make it past Semi-State. For us to be the only team from Kokomo to make it to State was big. Yeah, it didn’t turn out the way we wanted but at the end of the day, I was happy,” he said.

Following the State Finals, Gray went back to work because he joked he could have done better last season. 

“I love the energy of the game. It’s been in me a long time. I’m so used to it. I can’t stop playing. It’s the offseason but I’ve got to play so I’ve been training for next season to be better,” he said. “I’ve been to a lot of stuff and I have a lot of stuff coming up.”

Part of the stuff that is coming up is invitations to the invitation only Nike Open in Atlanta, Ga. And the Polynesian Bowl National Combine & Showcase in Las Vegas, Nev.

Gray was also the first in the Wildkat program to be named by the Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 All-State Football team. He is the only junior in school history to receive the nod.

“Javias is a leader for the Wildkats. He’s a hard worker on and off the field and is an inspiration for his teammates. He is so strong. He power cleans over 300 pounds. He has great hands and feet which all make him hard to block as a defensive lineman,” said former Kokomo High School Coach Brett Colby. “Maybe his best attribute is his motor. He plays so hard. He doesn’t take plays off, even when he was playing both ways in our playoff run last fall. He would dominate both sides of the ball every snap, requiring double teams on defense. He was somebody we ran behind frequently on offense.”