Hillgrove running back Kenyan Drake has been on Georgia Tech's radar for quite some time, one would think. Georgia Tech has the Days brothers from Hillgrove in the fold already. Synjyn, an incoming freshman quarterback for the Yellow Jackets, and rising senior linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days who recently committed to Georgia Tech have both been teammates and good friends to Kenyan over the past few years. The Georgia Tech staff was able to evaluate Kenyan in person at their camp last year when he was a rising sophomore, but they've had their eye on him the last couple of years as much as they've recruited at Hillgrove.
"The rumor was that Georgia Tech coaches were in the crowd for a game when I was a freshman," Drake said. "I wasn't supposed to play, but the running back in front of me messed up so my coaches sent me in. I ended up scoring three touchdowns. So I think that's when they first noticed me." Drake says that's probably why the Yellow Jackets have been recruiting him the longest of any school and now they are the first school to offer him a scholarship a couple weeks ago at their Junior-Senior camp. Of course, it's a verbal offer as official offers can't go out until September 1st for juniors.
"The offer was a pleasant surprise," he said. "I went to the camp and it was really exciting. I had been last year and it was basically the same thing as that. I wasn't expecting the offer for sure, though. I've been talking to Coach Bohannon a long time. At the lunch in the middle of the camp, he walked up to me and wanted to meet my parents so that he could take us up to Coach Johnson's office and they could offer me. Coach Johnson said that Coach Bohannon said to keep a close eye on me at the camp and that he did. He said he was very impressed and wanted to verbally offer me right then."
Drake seems to be on track for getting a lot of attention earlier than most in the recruiting process. He's already been to a Nike camp in Alabama, Scout.com camps in Rome and Atlanta, and an MVP camp at Auburn. He's recently received questionnaires in the mail from Florida, Mississippi State, and Texas A&M. Georgia and Vanderbilt have sent him camp invitations for later this summer, of which he is certain he's attending Georgia's camp on July 16th.
The offer to Kenyan at Georgia Tech's elite camp wasn't the only one that occurred. In fact, it was the same time that his teammate and friend Jabari Hunt-Days received his offer as well. "I was upstairs in a team meeting for running backs and I got a text from Synjyn saying that Jabari got his offer and that he had committed right then," Drake said. "I feel really good to know I have an opportunity to go somewhere and have friends that already know everything and can introduce me and get me involved with the players. It makes it easier, it's definitely a plus."
There is no real timeframe for Drake, but he does have a main focus now after receiving his first offer. "I am going to make sure and work hard to have a good junior year so I can set it up for everything else. That's my focus right now," he said. It seems as long as he works hard and stays healthy that many teams will be jumping on the bandwagon and making offers later on this fall to Kenyan. Georgia Tech will likely be in the thick of things for his whole recruitment as they were the first offer and have been on him for a long time already.
The Yellow Jackets have always had Drake's attention, but maybe not as much as the other in-state school. "I leaned a little bit more towards Georgia growing up. They had won like seven straight years and so I always liked the better team a little more. But if I wasn't rooting for Georgia, then I would always root for Tech," he said. Now though, things aren't as lopsided with Georgia Tech's recent success under Coach Paul Johnson. That has definitely caught Kenyan's eye. "Coach Johnson is very good. That whole staff, in general, knows how to handle their business. They really make it like a family there."