National Signing Day 2016 will forever be linked to Rashan Gary. The defensive tackle from Paramus, New Jersey was being recruited by every school in the country. His offer list read like the latest Top 25 college football poll.
Gary is no stranger to the spotlight as his play on the field began to be recognized in middle school. From his strong relationship with his mother to his dominant play on the field, there is a lot to know about Gary.
Here’s what you need to know about the top college football recruit in the country:
1. Gary Was the Unanimous Number One Ranked Recruit in 2016
There is usually some dispute as to who the top high school football player is in the country, especially given the amount of sites there are dedicated to college football recruiting. Everyone from ESPN to Rivals had Gary as the top prospect in the country.
He stands at 6’5″ and 290 pounds. Gary possesses rare speed and quickness for a player his size. He is able to both stop the run and rush the passer. While college football will serve as a step up in competition, Gary dominated the top players in high school and was coveted by every college in the country.
2. He Has His Mother’s Name Tattooed on His Arm
Gary has a strong bond with his mother. He gushes about their relationship in just about any interview he does. She has been instrumental in organizing his recruiting visits, considering different colleges and ultimately helping him make the final decision on the school he will attend.
According to ESPN, he has a tattoo of his mother’s name, “Jennifer”, on the inside of his arm. Clemson took notice of their strong bond and gave his mother a cake with a Clemson jersey on it during his visit:
3. Gary Tied an Under Armour All-America Game Record With Three Sacks
One thing that is clear is that Gary can play football and up until this point he has dominated opposing offensive lines. The Under Armour All-America game features the best high school seniors from all over the country.
Gary dominated the best offensive linemen in the country and his three sacks tied a record for the most in the game’s history. He also had six tackles in the game. Gary possess rare quickness for a defensive tackle his size that should allow him to contribute right away at the college level.
4. Heading Into Signing Day He Was Considering Michigan and Clemson
According to the Detroit Free Press, Gary narrowed his list of colleges down to two schools: Michigan and Clemson.
USC, Auburn and Ole Miss were all teams that were in the running for Gary at one point. According to a feature ESPN did on Gary, the postal service delivers postal boxes full of mail to Gary’s house.
5. He Received His First Scholarship Offer in Eighth Grade
Gary attended a high school camp at Rutgers while he was still in middle school. According to Bleacher Report, Rutgers was so impressed with his play that they offered him a scholarship in eighth grade. It was the first of many offers to come his way.
He is from Paramus, New Jersey and played football at Paramus Catholic. Gary received boxes of offers from just about every school in the country since his first offer in middle school.