Jonas Gray is now a headline performer.
An unheralded, undrafted running back, Gray stepped into the spotlight for the New England Patriots in a four-touchdown performance that made him a sudden star in the NFL. The 24-year-old was appearing in just his fourth-career game when he exploded for 199 rushing yards on 38 carries against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.
“When we get home, I’ll probably just lay in bed and look up at the ceiling and be just astonished at what’s going on," Gray said in the Patriots' locker room after their 42-20 win, via Peter King of Sports Illustrated. I’m just writing a great story, man.”
From his stand-up comedy experience in college to his historic NFL performance at Lucas Oil Stadium, here are eight things you need to know about Gray's unfolding story:
- Gray was undrafted after leaving Notre Dame following an injury-shortened 2011 season.
- Gray told Boston.com that he has participated in several open mic events as a stand-up comic and once opened for Dustin Diamond, better known as Screech from "Saved by the Bell."
- He was signed and released by the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens before joining the Patriots.
- Gray began the 2014 season on the Patriots' practice squad.
- Gray scored four rushing touchdowns against the Colts, as many as all other NFL teams combined in Week 11.
- Gray's four rushing touchdowns tied a Patriots regular-season franchise record.
- Only 1.3% of fantasy football managers in ESPN leagues started Gray on Sunday.
- Patriots owner Robert Kraft apparently knew it was all going to happen this way. “It’s kind of funny because on Saturday I walked into the building and Mr. Kraft pulled me aside and said, ‘You’re going to have a big game this week, so be ready,’” Gray said on Sunday, via the Washington Post. “Just hearing that from the owner and hearing that from the head coach, hearing that from the leader of the team, definitely gives you a positive outlook and definitely gives you the mindset to go out and do your best.”