Ray Drew is one of the elite defensive ends in the 2011 recruiting class. The 6'5" 245 pound standout has seen his recruitment really pick up steam over the past few months as offers from school all over are now coming in. Drew told NoleDigest that he is taking the process in stride and not trying to become overwhelmed by it all.
"I'm just taking it all day by day and not trying to get overwhelmed by this," Drew said of his recruitment. "I am trying to look at every aspect of every school. If you told me when I was a freshman that at this time before my senior year that I'd have 23 offers I wouldn't believe you. My mindset now is that I am one of the best."
With the attention Ray is getting the pressure is sure to increase as he is expected to perform to a standard many hold him by. He says he wants to make sure he doesn't fall behind and let the pressure get to him.
"I like the attention I am getting," Drew said, "but at the same time I am not a fan of it because of the pressure it can add. To tell the truth there is a lot of pressure with the expectations but I am mainly focused on not falling behind with my school work. I have seen it where guys end up at the end not making grades and ending up in JUCO. You have to find that balance between academics and playing."
Drew made a surprise visit to Florida State's junior say several weeks ago. While he's been to the school numerous times he said the visit was great as he got the chance to acclimate himself with the new coaches.
"I was actually going to visit South Carolina that weekend but I ended up visiting FSU because one of the guys I met and became friends with at the Badger event was going there so I wanted my mom the meet him," explained Drew of the visit. "The visit was a good experience. Talking to Coach Fisher was a good experience. I also got to meet Coach Eliot which was nice. We watched some film and talked about, if I were to go there, what I would do at my position. We also talked about the depth chart and their needs. I asked if I come there could I have #99. I know Jacobbi McDaniel has it but he wants #55. The guy who has it now is leaving after this year so I could have it when I come in if I went there."
Several of the recruits in attendance over the past few weekends at FSU have come away impressed with the new Seminole defensive end coach. Drew said that he likes the energy level of the new coach.
"Coach Eliot is an energetic guy," said Drew. "He appears to know what he's doing and he has a lot of experience. I know he is a young guy and he seems as though he can really connect with the players because of that."
Ray has also visited Georgia and Georgia Tech over the past several weeks.
"I would grade those visits as far as what each school has to offer," said Drew. "Getting a degree from Georgia Tech is huge and that means a lot. I want to major in communications, and Georgia has a good program for that and history there with players majoring in that."
Drew said that the newest programs to offer are mostly from the south.
"Miami and Rutgers are the two schools I have been talking to a lot lately," Drew said, "and Mississippi State just offered me. I had a verbal offer from USF that is now an official offer. Louisville just offered too."
Ray has a few factors he is looking for with these schools and he says it will come down to the best combination of academics, tradition and coaches.
"I'm looking for a school with academic success and a good graduation rate," explained Drew. "If the players leave early how many come back to school? I am also a fan of tradition and I like fan support. The top two are education and the relationship I have with the coaches."
Look for Ray to get out to some camps over the next few months as he continues to try to prove he is one of the best at his position this year. Also Drew plans on visiting some schools for spring practices.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest for the latest with Ray as we track his recruitment throughout the next several months.
Catching Up with Ray Drew
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