Eight Stick Out for Ray Drew

Ray Drew, a 2011 five-star defensive end from Thomasville (GA) County Central, said he doesn't have any favorites yet but he's keeping a close eye on a few schools. Eight programs have separated from the pack of 31 by putting more time into recruiting this elite pass rusher.

Ray Drew said it's up in the air for Miami, Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Auburn. The 6-5, 249-pound Drew said he appreciates when schools do something unique. Auburn has shown glimpses of originality.

"They are different from the rest. When I visited they weren't just talking about football. They gave us time to really relax with the guys that could be our future teammates and it was just cool coming together and having fun."

Drew is also a fan of Tigers head coach Gene Chizik. He said he even poked a little fun at Chizik the last time he saw him.

"I said you're the only coach I know that can pull off jeans, a white button down and cowboy boots. He just laughed."

Drew has a nice frame to add weight to on the next level, and he said he understands how important strength and conditioning will be in his career. Tennessee's strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie is catching his attention.

"He walks around like he knows what's up and he does. He works out with every group that comes in during the day so he works out like five to six times a day."

Drew said he knows he wants to help his college team win a championship so he always has that "in the back of my mind." That's where Alabama comes in.

"I know they just won a championship so that's good. I talk to coach (Kirby) Smart from time to time. He's from where I live and his old high school is one of our rivals so we go back and forth about that."

Another school with recent championships is recruiting Drew very hard. He said he has some family ties to Gator D-Line coach Dan McCarney.

"My cousin played under him and always said such good things. He would be my coach so I like to hear that."

Drew had some positive comments about head coach Urban Meyer as well.

"He is so down to earth. He is Christian-based and he has so many great stories. He just got back from a trip to Israel and I like talking to him about things like that. He is really welcoming too. I can see why he gets the recruits that he does because he's a great person with a great personality."

Drew said he will take it easy now and focus on the immediate task at hand: his senior season.

"I have to be a senior leader and push and develop myself the best I can. There is a lot of potential on my team so I'm going to be encouraging and tell them they can do it. We want to win."
Follow Laura McKeeman on

Fightin Gators Top Stories