Austin Peay is looking to reload after a 6-5 season, in which the Governors were only a few plays away from competing for the OVC Championship. The defensive line was a major need after Austin Peay only had one defensive lineman total more than 1 sack in the 2021 season. The defensive front received a major boost in former East Carolina defensive lineman J’Vian McCray; who announced his commitment to Austin Peay on social media.
I want to thank all the coaches who have reached out to me and given me the opportunity to be a part of their program. After a long, stressful process, I have decided to continue my academic and athletic career at Austin Peay State University ?? #committed #gogovs pic.twitter.com/0m9zYsNAJ4
— J’vian mccray (@MccrayVian) June 4, 2022
McCray was a consensus 3-star prospect out of Shallotte, NC in the class of 2020. The 6-foot-1, 318-pound defensive lineman ranked as a Top-30 prospect in the state of North Carolina and also was tabbed as a Top-75 DT according to 247Sports. McCray held offers from Appalachian State, Air Force, North Carolina, Wake Forest, & Tulane; but ultimately committed to East Carolina in December of 2018. As a senior McCray totaled over 50 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, & 7 sacks which led him to be selected as the Coastal Preps Defensive Player of the Year.
McCray redshirted his 1st season at East Carolina, but saw limited action in four games as a redshirt freshman in 2021 for the Pirates. The defensive line rotation at ECU was extremely crowded and McCray announced his intentions to transfer in April of this year after the conclusion of spring practices. McCray is going to bring size and athleticism to the defensive tackle spot for the Governors and should provide a major impact in the rushing defense for Austin Peay.
The Governors lost All-American DL Terrell Allen to the transfer portal this offseason, which added the importance of bringing in more depth to defensive line for the 2022 season. Austin Peay also landed Tennessee State transfer Raymond Horton and 1st Team JUCO All-American Ken’Terious Owens on the defensive line this offseason.
The Governors have reloaded on the defensive line entering the 2022 season and the defense could be the key to Austin Peay winning the ASUN Championship in their 1st year in the conference. Austin Peay opens the 2022 season on the road against C-USA contender Western Kentucky on September 1st.