Small-Town Background Fine With Frey

Drew Frey knows many never felt he'd be dresses in a college football uniform at a BCS Conference. But the Wilmington, Ohio native (Clinton-Massie HS) is use to proving people wrong. So far in camp Frey has made a move up the depth chart and could be playing major minutes this fall. We spoke with Frey after practice.

"I'm not in high school anymore, I'm in college and playing college football right now and that is all that matters," Frey told Bearcat Insider after a recent practice. "There is an adjustment for every player when they get to college on and off the field and I feel I'm adjusting well."

While Drew has heard the talk of his small school background he knows the things he learned in Clinton Country still hold true in any city or school across the country.

"I learned early that hard work and dedication can open doors. I do the same things now that I did when I was in high school and I feel I've adjusted well."

Drew Frey is no stranger to success or hard work. In high school he earned class Valedictorian honors while also winning state titles in the high jump and as a member of his schools 4x100 relay team. He also left his mark on the small country schools football field as a do-it-all member of Coach Dan McSurley's Clinton-Massie Falcons football program. His past severed him well after coming back from a missed season as a true freshman.

"I had to relearn all that I'd learned in camp last season in the spring. Now it's all starting to come together allowing me to play faster. The more you know without thinking the faster you'll play. All my life hard work and dedication served me well and I'll continue to do it that way."

Make no mistake, Frey has heard his name called by defensive coordinator Joe Tresey and defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs throughout camp but know it's for a good reason.

"I love the fact I'm getting yelled at. I need to fine tune the little things I don't have right now in technique or skill. Once I get the flow of those things maybe the yelling will go down. But right now I deserve and need the yelling to fine tune my play and make me a better player."

While last season may have been a lost one on the field, Frey knows he learned a lot from the players that were on the field.

"I learned a lot from watching a guy like Haruki Nakamura last year on and off the field and that has helped me this year. By watching guys like Haruki I learned if you're working hard you'll get a lot more reps. I need as much time on the field as I can get right now and each time I get a snap I know I'll get better as a player. The spring was a recovery phase for me. I had to reinstall everything from last year's camp having missed so many reps during the season. I now know the playbook much better than I did last year and I feel I know what I'm doing on the field so I'm not thinking as much and just go out and play fast."

While Drew has enjoyed the talk of his small school roots he knows there was a lot to overcome once he got on campus.

"In high school the competition may not have been as high as that of a division one high school, but I'm just looking to prove the down lookers wrong. It was a big adjustment, not only on the field but also in the classroom. I'm an engineering major and it requires a lot of work to balance football and school work but I feel I'm managing it well. In high school I think we had a 10-20 page playbook. Now you're getting into a stack and keep installing each week. But I can now picture more in my head and it's sticking and feels good."

The number of reps on the field means Frey is going against some great receivers capable of testing any player in the Bearcats defensive backfield.

"It's a great experience going up against these guys and competing with them each day is a challenge. But when we get into the season and have spent all of camp and each practice going against guys like the ones we have here you know what to expect and know you'll be ready to go against anyone."

Drew Frey knows the odds were against him making it here, but he also knows his small town background has helped him adjust and excel at a level only he and his family felt was possible.

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