"He's really been phenomenal."

Kenyan Drake, four-star running back from Powder Springs-Hillgrove, Ga., is more than ready for the competition in Tuscaloosa. He talked 'Why Alabama' along with his position coach who talked in-depth of the playmaker.

Kenyan Drake
Scout.com Rating: Four-star
Scout.com Rank: No. 17 Running Back
Size: 6-foot-1, 200-pounds
High School: Powder Springs, Ga. (Hillgrove)
Projected Position: Running Back/Wide Receiver

Stats: Drake carried the ball 173 times for 1,610 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior season. He caught 24 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns. He also returned 10 kickoffs for 355 yards and two touchdowns. Drake had 1,200 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns as a junior. He added more than 500 yards receiving with eight touchdowns.

Commit Date: 02/14/2011
Recruiting Competition: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee

Why Alabama: "People ask me why I committed to Alabama over Georgia and what made me do it. I hear it all of the time. They always want to bring up the depth chart. Georgia is pretty much putting everything on the back of [Isaiah] Crowell. They are saying we can be a one-two punch.

"Of course depth chart is something to think about, but I see myself getting legitimate playing time at Alabama if I work hard. You then look at the offensive line situation. I tell them about the offensive line at Georgia, and then how Alabama definitely has the top offensive line unit in the country. You can't run if you don't have a great offensive line to block for you.

"I looked at how stable Alabama is compared to Georgia. If Georgia doesn't have a good year, Richt is probably out. I think he deserves a couple years because of what all he has done, but you know how fans are. It's all about what are you doing for me now, not what did you do for me in the past.

"If I did choose to go to Georgia I'd put myself in a situation where I wouldn't know if the coaching staff would be there or not. If they have another bad year the coaching staff would be there or not. If they have another bad year the coaching staff would likely get torn apart. I wouldn't want to play for a team that didn't have the same staff as it did when I committed. That stuff just doesn't go well with me."

Strengths/Improvements: "The coaches see that my most important aspect is versatility. That separates you from other backs from across the country. Running backs are a dime a dozen.

"I can run outside with my speed game and get bigger and pound it inside with the big boys, which Alabama likes to do. I can line up in the slot and catch passes out of the backfield. That helps me out and sets me apart from other running backs."

Coach Quotes: "He's been great. He started for us about halfway through his freshman year," said Hillgrove running back coach Tarve Riggins. "He's really been phenomenal. He hasn't missed any games due to injury. He's been very reliable.

"It was [unusual to start as a freshman], but he was pretty talented. He got a few shots here and there in some games. He obviously excelled and did a good job, so he was able to start a couple of games to help us towards the playoffs.

"He's a leader, but I wouldn't say so much vocally. He just plays hard, and he's a competitor. The other kids can see that, and they kind of feed off of that."

"He went to junior camp [Alabama], and he really liked Coach Smart and just the opportunity to play for an SEC championship every year and play possibly for a national championship. Obviously if he does well he can go to the next level.

"He is very competitive. He wants to do well. We once told him that we heard a couple of kids, top recruits, were going to Alabama and asked if he wanted to change his mind and go to somewhere more local like Georgia or somewhere like that.

"He said, "No, it doesn't matter who goes there you are going to have to compete wherever you go." To me that's pretty impressive that a kid at that age knows that no matter what he's going to have to compete and do a good job.

"His family is stable. He lives with his father and step-mother, and he's got brothers that participate in sports at Hillgrove.

"He's visited there [UA] a couple of a times. Sometimes it's better that kids go away, and they don't come home every weekend because if they do they may want to come back. I think him being busy with football starting this summer he's pretty level-headed he knows what is out there in the long run, so I don't see that [distance from home] being an issue."

Andrew Bone says: "Drake fits more in the athlete category. He is an excellent running back and had a tremendous senior season. He has the ability to do a lot of different things. He can run out of the backfield and split out at receiver and a dangerous pass catcher.

"Drake has terrific straight-line speed and can make big plays in the open field. He is an elite offensive weapon the Alabama coaching staff will have in their arsenal to use in a variety of different ways once he arrives in Tuscaloosa.

Rebecca Johnston contributed to this report.

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