The Notre Dame football season and the career of senior running back Jonas Gray seemed to be defined by one play on the opening drive of the season when Gray fumbled the ball inside the 5-yard line and saw the Bulls go 90 plus yards the other way for a touchdown.
One problem, Gray refused to let that play define him.
"I just remember going to the sideline and looking at my guys in the face, and telling them I was going to pick it up from there," Gray said just days after the fumble. "I wasn't going to let that put me down at all."
Gray lived up to the word. Over the next 9 games, you couldn't keep him out of the end zone.
"I was joking with Tommy Rees and asked me, 'do you have 11 touchdowns?' Gray explained before the home final against Boston College in November. "I said yeah. And he said 'if you would have told me in the off season that you would have 11 touchdowns, I would have laughed at you.'"
Just days later, Jonas would make it 12 touchdowns but he would run into another major obstacle. Gray tore his ACL on a screen pass against the Eagles when he was hit in the knee. His college career was over.
But Jonas refused to let the injury derail his NFL dreams. He showed at Pro Day, that he can still go. What a journey its been.
"My mom always kept telling me, there is only one way to go and that's forward," Gray explained Saturday. "That's all I did was keep pushing forward and its crazy that I've made it so far to this point."
Now, Gray awaits the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday.
"I'm anxious. Excited. I'm nervous," Gray said. "I'm all of the above. Just waiting to hear my name get called. Hoping to get an opportunity."
There's no way to predict if Gray's name will get called. The injury puts that in serious jeopardy. But Gray won't the uncertainty hold him down. He's always thinking forward.
"Even if [my name] doesn't get called--even if I go free agency--I know I'll be on an NFL team for years and years."
There's no reason to doubt him.