NORMAN — Dillon Overton marvels at Jonathan Gray's stuff.
And Overton's not talking about the Oklahoma ace's fastball-slider-changeup combination, although he enjoys that stuff, too.
It's Gray's dance moves that get Overton going.
“He's always dancing, it seems like,” said Overton. “It's random spurts of dancing moves. He might walk into the room and bust out some moves and just walk out. That's funny to watch. And he says a lot of random things.
“But him in general, being the guy he is, is just a lot of fun.”
In general, Gray isn't the guy you'd expect in the projected No. 1 or 2 pick in Major League Baseball's June draft. By all accounts, he's better than even that.
A dominant pitcher, yes.
A soon-to-be, multimillionaire, yes.
A big man on campus, yes.
Sure, Gray's a big shot in stature and status, while also shouldering a major share of the Sooners' hopes for a long postseason run, not to mention their Bedlam brazenness this weekend. He just doesn't act like it, instead carrying on as the pride of Chandler, who's small-town proud and proper as well.
“I haven't had one like him,” said OU coach Sunny Golloway. “I will tell you that point blank. I have had some remarkable character guys. Chuckie Caufield stands out. And we've had other guys with great character, I could go on and on.
“Jon is just a really special kid. He's not even a kid anymore, he's just a special young man in the way that he handles himself and conducts himself. He's one of the few guys I've had who hasn't got caught up in the limelight and the attention.”
No limelight, but a disco light instead?
“I'll bust out a dance move,” Gray said, “just to make people laugh.”
On the field, Gray busts out some nastiness on opposing hitters, drawing high praise from Golloway as a competitor.
He's got the goods — size, strength, all the pitches and impeccable control — that have MLB general managers at the top of the draft reportedly deciding between him and Stanford's Mark Appel, who was picked No. 8 a year ago, but decided to return to school.
Gray is tied for the Big 12 lead with eight wins, leads the league in innings pitched (89 2/3), strikeouts (104), opponent batting average (.166) and ranks second in earned run average (1.20).
That's the stuff that has accompanied Gray's rise up the MLB draft boards and confirms the competitiveness.
Yet it's the other stuff that endears Gray inside his own clubhouse and offers another side to his team captain tag.
The dancing and the shenanigans. The same ol' stuff he was doing back in Chandler, where he hung out in the woods, hunting and fishing and generally goofing off. Shooting up zombies alongside Overton on the Call of Duty video game.
“Technically, we aren't roommates, but we really are, because I'm over there 24/7,” Overton said.
“We laugh and tell jokes all the time. Maybe 30 minutes out of the whole day we're not laughing. We definitely play a lot of video games in our downtime. We might yell at the TV a little bit. It's all fun.”
So, can Gray really dance?
“He's a great dancer,” Overton said. “A lot better than me.”