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Gage cites UNT's location, potential as reasons for commitment

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

The more Antonio Gage found out about North Texas over the last few weeks, the more convinced the Dallas Madison athlete became that the school would be the best place for him to continue his football career.

"North Texas is close to home," Gage said Friday. "I wanted to be somewhere my family could see me play.

"I can also get some playing time as a freshman."

Those factors led the 6-foot, 180-pound senior to commit to UNT late Thursday. 

Adding Gage was a key recruiting win for the Mean Green. Gage  is ranked No. 30 in The Dallas Morning News' rankings of the top prospects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the class of 2018. He is rated No. 162 nationally among wide receivers in the 247 Sports composite rankings.

Gage could play either wide receiver or cornerback on the college level. He displayed his versatility last season at Madison, when he was named the utility MVP of District 6-3A (Division I).

Gage threw for 761 yards and eight touchdowns. He rushed for 741 yards and nine touchdowns. Gage also caught nine passes for 201 yards and a touchdown.

"He's explosive and can play anything,"  Madison coach Marcus Gates said. "He is a kid who loves to play the game and is passionate about football."

That passion and Gage's all-around talent attracted the attention of colleges across the country. SMU, Colorado and Illinois were the schools Gage considered heavily out of more than a half dozen that offered him a scholarship.

UNT cornerbacks coach Nate Brown recruited Gage. 

Gage credited Brown with selling him on what UNT is building under Seth Littrell, who led the Mean Green to the Heart of Dallas Bowl in his debut season.

"I feel good about the direction UNT is headed," Gage said. "We can turn it around. We are getting some big time recruits."

Gage joins a class that also includes defensive lineman Dayton LeBlanc, another three-star player.

UNT's recruiting class is currently ranked No. 2 in Conference USA behind Texas-San Antonio. 

Gage has yet to visit UNT, but is planning on making a trip to the school soon.