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2023 Spring Football

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RB Eric Gray, CB Tre Hawkins III, DB Gervarrius Owens sign rookie contracts

RB Eric Gray, CB Tre Hawkins III
RB Eric Gray, CB Tre Hawkins III

Running back Eric Gray, cornerback Tre Hawkins III and defensive back Gervarrius Owens, three members of the Giants' seven-man draft class, have signed their rookie contracts.

A fifth-round pick, Gray played two years for Tennessee before transferring to Oklahoma. In four seasons, he played in 47 games with 24 starts and had 549 carries for 3,089 yards (5.6-yard avg.) and 21 touchdowns, plus 99 receptions for 827 yards and five scores. Last season, he started all 12 regular-season games for the Sooners before opting out of the Cheez-It Bowl. Gray was selected second-team All-Big 12. He had career-high totals of 213 carries for 1,336 yards – the ninth-highest total in Oklahoma history – and his 6.4-yard average led the conference. Gray added 30 receptions for 229 yards.

"Eric Gray is a guy we liked," general manager Joe Schoen said after the draft. "Super productive. Really good hands out of the backfield. Also has some elusiveness to him inside. Like what he brings. He also has done some returns in his past; he did some at Tennessee, comfortable catching punts at Senior Bowl. So he'll come in and compete with our group."

Selected in the sixth round, Hawkins played 25 games for Old Dominion over the last two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound cornerback totaled 133 tackles (98 solo), two interceptions, 13 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a blocked kick. His 76 tackles in 2021 are the most ever in a single-season by an ODU cornerback.

"Tre Hawkins, we took him late in the sixth. From Old Dominion corner, height, weight, and speed prospect that has high upside," Schoen said. "He's a physical kid, not afraid to tackle. You see a trend with some of these guys that we took at that position. Good developmental prospect for Wink's defense and projects well to special teams due to his physical traits and toughness."

The seventh and final selection last weekend, Owens played in 46 games with 42 starts at Houston, where he totaled 195 tackles (132 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, 21 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two blocked kicks. He was selected first-team All-AAC as a junior and second team as a senior. In 2022, he started all 12 games in which he played – and miss one with a concussion – and logged a career-high 74 tackles (54 solo), one interception and nine passes defensed.

"Gervarrius Owens, another guy we like, tall, long, athletic safety from University of Houston, was out at the East-West Game," Schoen said. "Another physical kid. Projects well to special teams and also compete for a depth role."

View photos of the locker room and the 2023 class getting fitted for equipment ahead of rookie minicamp.


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