Torrian Gray knows good cornerback play. As a player himself Gray was a second round pick — 49th overall in the 1997 draft. As a coach he’s helped develop more than 20 players that have gone on to play in the NFL. He’s also had two different stints coaching in the NFL. You get it, Gray knows talent when he sees it.
The Gators return two starters at cornerback and Gray thinks that they could be the best tandems he’s ever had on a roster. Better than duo of Brandon Flowers (drafted 2nd round Kansas City – 2008) and Macho Harris (drafted 5th round Philadelphia — 2009) and better than the duo he had during his last stint in Gainesville with Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson.
“They have all the intangibles along with their athletic talents to be THE best duo I’ve coached,” Gray said after practice on Tuesday. “I’ve coached Brandon Flowers and Macho [Victor] Harris, Quincy [Wilson] and Teez Tabor and these two are pretty damn good.”
C.J. Henderson is getting the attention and he deserves it. Henderson had a fantastic sophomore season and all signs point to another great season in his junior campaign. He’s always been fast but he’s changed his body, adding weight without losing a step. Wilson suffered a torn ACL in the second week of the 2018 season so he begins this year with far less hype. That doesn’t mean he’s a slouch or unqualified to have his name next to Henderson’s.
“Definitely I feel like I’m being overlooked,” Wilson told Gator Country at media day. “In my mind I know what I can do. I can’t change what people think but I know what I can do on the field. When I start playing they’re going to see that.”
The physical traits leap out at you when you’re in their presence. Henderson and Wilson look NFL ready even in their college uniforms. They will draw comparisons to Tabor and Wilson — naturally given the blood relation to half of that foursome. Gray sees similarities but one big, glaring difference.
“These guys are Teez and Quincy-cause Teez and Quincy loved football, gym rates-all the same intangibles but these guys, they’re fast. They can run like hell. That’s the difference.”
The biggest difference between Henderson and Wilson and a lot of other talented players is their work ethic. The two are always the last players off of the field after they finish their daily work post-practice. They don’t stop there either. They’re students of the game. They get their film work in and they’re always looking for an edge. Being physically gifted isn’t enough for either.
“I can teach technique, fundamentals, offensive formation, splits, down and distance. The intangibles I can’t,” Gray said. “So it’s a pleasure when you get talented guys and are able to coach guys with talent and intangibles.”