Thursday, July 21, 2016

From Leominster to Duke: Noah Gray Remains a Blue Devil

Leominster quarterback Noah Gray and coach Dave Palazzi talk strategy against Nashoba last season.
By Jason Siegel

Leominster starting quarterback Noah Gray will be taking his talents to Durham, North Carolina and Duke University in the fall of 2017.

The rising high school senior chose the Blue Devils over offers from Temple, Toledo, University of Delaware, University of New Hampshire, and Appalachian State.

The 6-foot-5 Gray has been Leominster’s starting quarterback since his sophomore year. However, Noah was recruited to play tight end at Duke, and he does not plan on trying out for quarterback in college.

Noah said that he will “just stay focused on playing tight end” once he graduates from Leominster.

Despite the looming position change, Leominster head football coach Dave Palazzi plans on keeping Gray primarily at quarterback during Gray’s senior season.

“I’d rather he have the ball in his hands every play (as a quarterback),” Coach Palazzi said.

Palazzi also thinks it’s important for Noah to have fun during his senior year.

“High school is special, and I want him to enjoy it,” said Coach Palazzi, adding that Noah has the luxury of already knowing where he is going to college and doesn’t have to worry about the application process that most high school seniors go through.

Gray thinks that his skill set will fit in well with Duke’s offense.

“The offense they run (at Duke) is similar to the offense at (Leominster),” Noah Gray said.

Coach Palazzi doesn’t think that the transition to Division I college football will be difficult, due to Noah’s work ethic.

“(Noah) is a good student on the field and in the classroom. He’s got a good work ethic,” Coach Palazzi said of his athletic quarterback.

Gray knows he has to keep working hard in order to prepare to play Division I college football. There are a lot of ways in which he wants to improve his skill set.

“I have to gain (at least) 15-20 lbs. I have to get stronger and faster, I have to stay healthy, and I have to learn the playbook at Duke,” Noah Gray said.

Coach Palazzi doesn’t have any doubts about whether his superstar athlete is ready to play football at the next level.

“He’s ready, from the perspective of training. (Noah) works hard in the weight room and on the field,” Coach Palazzi said.

With a combination of athleticism, size, and work ethic, Noah Gray is set up for a successful senior season as he prepares to play America’s most popular sport at a high level.

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