Former Penn-Trafford RB Gay leaving Air Force | TribLIVE.com
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Bill Beckner

John Gay IV wants to be a more traditional college student, which he hopes can make him a more traditional college football player — and maybe lead to something further.

The former Penn-Trafford standout running back is leaving the Air Force Academy and will transfer to Lafayette, a FCS program in Easton, where he will continue to play running back.

Gay has said one of his main goals it to make the pros. That objective had not changed just because his college has.

“The big thing for me is I’m trying to maximize my potential as a football player and student,” he said. “And with the coaches here having NFL experience and contact with the NFL, and prior coaches currently in the NFL, it gives me a chance to get my foot through the door to hopefully play in an NFL uniform, drafted or not, after my time with Lafayette is over.”

Gay also had offers from Navy and Robert Morris coming out of Penn-Trafford. He rushed for 1,285 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior as Penn-Trafford (11-2) played in the WPIAL Class 5A title game. Gay finished as the ninth 1,000-yard rusher in school history.

After testing the military lifestyle, Gay (6-foot, 195 pounds) thought better of the way the other half lives.

He asks his decision be respected, his honesty appreciated.

“It was just a lifestyle I did not enjoy,” he said. “I made great friends. I loved the football there. I loved the coaches, and I was doing well military-wise and academically. I just wasn’t happy going through that lifestyle everyday. I knew what I was getting into, it just was not the right fit for me.”

Gay comes from a football family.

His father, John III, was a running back at Gateway before he played at Kentucky and then West Virginia. He had a tryout in the NFL.

John Gay II was a standout back for Braddock in the 1950s.

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