MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the NFL Draft dragged on to Day 3, the wait became too much for Eric Gray Jr.
"He got a little frustrated, and he said 'I'm going to take a drive,'" said Eric Gray Sr., his father. "He got in his Jeep and went to take a drive. And as soon as he turned the corner, the Giants called."
The New York Giants selected the Oklahoma running back and Lausanne alum in the fifth round, 172nd overall. Gray's family recorded his name popping up on the television as he drove back to their Nashville AirBnb.
"Everybody screaming and hollering and going wild," His father said. "Everyone who was there, his sisters, his uncles, closest friends, his mom and me. All of us knew the journey."
That journey that began at Lausanne Collegiate School, where Gray set the Tennessee state record for touchdowns in a career (138). He went on to play for Tennessee from 2019-20 before transferring to Oklahoma.
"His tenure here is when we went through our 38-game win streak," said Lausanne head coach Kevin Locastro. "He did so much for our program and so much for our school in kind of putting us on the football map in Memphis."
Eric had a Saquon Barkley poster on his bedroom wall throughout high school. Now he will back up the two-time Pro Bowler in the Big Apple.
"You're talking about looking at a poster, then all of the sudden now you're fixing to playing next to him, you're in the backfield with him," Eric Gray Sr. said. " Just to learn from his idol, learn from a guy he looked up to, it's just awesome."
But for Eric Senior, the best part is watching Junior achieve his lifelong dream.
"As a parent, you're so happy, you're so proud because you know the work he put in," he said. "You know everything that went into this journey to get to this point. It ain't over; now you've got to work. You've got to keep pushing."