Max Wray and Jake Wray, top offensive recruits from Franklin (Tenn.) High, left their high school team following a suspension handed down by their coach in connection with criticisms they had of his coaching style. At the heart of the dispute is the Wray family’s accusation that the Franklin coaching staff put pressure on players to conceal injuries and particularly concussions.
The bombshell accusations from the Wray family came in the form of a family statement delivered to 247Sports on Wednesday morning:
“The Wray family has done everything we can do to prevent this difficult situation. We have no choice, at this time, but to defend our children’s reputation. Max and Jake did not quit the Franklin High Football team. This situation arose because we, as a family, became increasingly concerned that the coaching staff has created an environment in which players’ health and safety is not the first priority. We expressed to the school administration our concern that the culture was creating a perverse incentive for players to conceal injuries, including in particular concussions. An assistant coach apologized to Jake for the situation he had been put in by the staff, an apology that Coach Webb dismissed, saying, “sometimes young coaches do stupid things.” We have tried for the last week to have this matter resolved privately and positively for all concerned. Instead, Max and Jake were suspended, further unjustified punishment. We simply asked that the staff acknowledge that our concerns were being addressed and that Max and Jake were publicly exonerated from any wrongdoing and restored to good standing with the team. Unfortunately, our concerns and our proposal for resolution were met with belligerent denial by the staff and administration. Under these circumstances, Max and Jake wish their teammates nothing but success as they finish the season.”
Max Wray is a four-star offensive tackle recruit from the 2018 class who is committed to Ohio State. The 6-foot-6, 289-pound lineman is considered one of the top-10 players at his position in the nation, and one of the top-three overall prospects in the state of Tennessee. Wray will compete in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
His brother fills a similar mold in the Class of 2020, with Jake Wray listed as four-star prospect and the number six overall player in Tennessee.
Both brothers were held out of Friday’s Franklin game at Spring Hill, which Franklin won 38-21. Franklin coach Donnie Webb refused comment about the brothers after the game when asked by The Tennessean, insisting, “I only want to talk about Franklin High School. That’s all I want to talk about.”
Later Tuesday, it was reported by Ohio State site Eleven Warriors that the school said that the roster was unchanged.
Still, at least for now, the high school career of Max Wray and Franklin High career of Jake Wray both appear to be over, barring sudden and late intervention.