After finishing their dinner at the Bolton Dining Commons, Drew and his teammates were leaving to go back to their dorms at East Campus Village. Most players got in their cars, but Drew loaded onto his scooter with more in mind. Moore says that was the moment he saw there was something different about his teammate.
“He wrecked his scooter because he was just driving in circles,” Moore said. “I was like, ‘what is wrong with this guy? Is he crazy or something?’”
Drew, a 6-foot-5, 284-pound defensive end from Thomasville, Ga., has his own version of the ‘scooter’ story.
“I was the only one with a moped at the time and I was going to show off or whatever,” Drew said. “I messed around and it got away from me. I jumped off and stayed on my feet, but my moped fell over on its side. I didn’t go down. The moped went down, so the moped had a wreck and I didn’t.”
The moped wasn’t always Drew’s vehicle of choice. Growing up in Boston, Ga., a town just a few miles outside Thomasville, the senior spent most of his childhood on a bicycle. As a kid, Drew and his cousins used to put aluminum Coca-Cola cans on the back tires of their bicycles to make them sound more like motorcycles. It made the ride to their grandparents’ house a little more adventurous.
“That’s when the imagination used to let you do things like that,” Drew said. “Those were the good days.”
Listening to Drew’s teammates tell stories about the senior defensive end that sound more like folk tales, it’s hard to conclude his imagination has changed at all since arriving in Athens.
“Ray Drew, man,” Moore said. “That’s like a pioneer inside a football suit.”
Drew grew up hunting and fishing with his parents and grandparents, but that didn’t stop when he moved to Athens. Drew doesn’t hunt strictly for sport, though. He eats what he kills.
“He’s so country that he’ll mostly eat anything, but all the foods he says he cooks and all that stuff just brings the (defensive line) group to laughter,” Josh Dawson said. “He has too many stories.”
Raccoon and squirrel are among two of the more obscure meals Drew prepares. He mostly cooks for himself, though; due to the fact his teammates don’t seem to want any part of his dinners.
“I would go,” Dawson responded hesitantly. “I don’t know if I would eat before I go, but other than that – great teammate.”
Drew is known to catch raccoons and later make a dish out of them, too. He hasn’t had a good catch in a while, though. And Publix doesn’t sell raccoon.
“It’s already been eaten,” Drew said. “I’ve got to get back home and get me one of those. I don’t trust the Athens raccoons.”
Amarlo Herrera stays away from Athens raccoons, too. But then again, he stays away from pretty much every raccoon he encounters.
“I’m from Atlanta,” Herrera said. “We don’t do that.”
Drew grew up far from Atlanta, and with no plans of ever moving there. The five o’clock rush hour never appealed to him. Where Drew comes from, there’s only one traffic light that blinks constantly, day and night.
“In some cities you have the good side of the tracks and the bad side of the tracks,” Drew said. “Boston is ‘country’ and ‘more country.’ You’ve got a few paved roads on this side, but dirt roads on the other. It’s not much to it at all.”
Drew says that while he grew up on the ‘country’ side, he preferred spending his days on the ‘more country’ side. There was just more for him to do there.
“I was always adventurous when I was younger. I would get on my bike and go places I wasn’t supposed to, hoping my parents wouldn’t find out and just ride,” Drew said. That was a time when things were simpler. You didn’t have to worry about much of anything. The world has gone crazy today, but I could just get on my bike and ride. The most I had to worry about was whether there was a dog chasing me.”
He’s different, but he’ll tell you that straight up. He is who he is. He is who he was.
“I haven’t lost anything,” Drew said. “I’ve just added a little onto it.”