Sep 26, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Brandon Facyson (31) celebrates an interception with cornerback Kendall Fuller (11) in the first half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Torrian Gray has been at Virginia Tech since 2006 and has become one of the position coaches in all of college football as Gray has built some great secondaries for the Hokies since his hiring. 2013 was the latest proof of that with the Hokies seeing their secondary being one of the strongest units despite injuries to Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum. That was largely due to the quick development of true freshman cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson.
Torrian Gray has also been very successful at developing players who have gone on to have tons of the success in the NFL including Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers. The 2013 NFL Draft was the first time during Gray’s time at Virginia Tech that the Hokies did not have a player from their secondary drafted. That streak will be restarted and could go on for a while with Kyle Fuller and Antone Exum in this year’s draft, Kyshoen Jarrett in next year’s draft, and the potential for Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson to go in the 2016 or 2017 NFL Drafts.
However, there has been a lot made recently about how Torrian Gray is only making around $210,000 after Jeff Grimes left for LSU and what is likely a significant pay raise. The Hokies are in the middle in the ACC in terms of assistant salaries for football but the Hokies might have to start increasing those salaries to keep some of these guys. Grimes probably left for LSU due somewhat to his want to be back in the SEC and Grimes has not had a previous attachment to the program like Gray but the Hokies could have a struggle keeping Gray in the future.
However, the bigger concern for the Hokies is that the Broyles Award nominee will get a chance to be a coordinator which the Hokies would not be able to keep Gray from taking depending on the program? The bad news for Virginia Tech fans is that there are a couple of programs that might just consider Torrian Gray as their next defensive coordinator. One job that could be a possibility is Florida State after the success they had with Jeremy Pruitt this past season though Florida State would probably go with a SEC guy.
The bigger concern in Vanderbilt as the Commodores are reportedly set to hire Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason as their next head coach. Mason is a West Coast guy that lacks recruiting links on the East Coast with Virginia being a valuable state for Vanderbilt to recruit well. Gray is ready to be a defensive coordinator and Mason could use a guy like Gray who knows one of the states that Vanderbilt will want as a recruiting pipeline. Mason also has previously been a defensive backs coach like Gray and could realize the potential that Gray has to be a very good defensive coordinator. Now there haven’t been any rumors about Gray going to Vanderbilt yet to be Mason’s defensive coordinator but don’t be crazy surprised.
However, Gray is a Hokie and it will take a whole lot for Gray to be drawn away from Blacksburg so fans shouldn’t be too concerned.