Thomas County Central – Thomasville, GA
Way back in February of 2010, two reporters sat with Ray Drew A.T. Thomas County Central. During photos and questions, Drew’s cell phone rang – his ringtone blaring the Georgia fight song.
“C’mon Ray, you’re going to have to make this more difficult,” one reporter said to him.
“I know,” the five-star defensive player said with a smile.
For the next half-dozen months Drew did make guessing his college destination difficult. He toyed with fans’ hopes on Facebook and Twitter – constantly talking up other schools like Auburn and Clemson.
In the end, like his ringtone had previously indicated, Georgia was the place for Drew. And he’d been locked up for some time working as a faux-recruiting agent for the Bulldogs.
HONORS: USA Today All-USA first-team defense… Sporting News #5 overall prospect... SuperPrep Elite 50, All-America and All-Dixie teams… PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team… Army All-America East team… Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11, #2 player in Georgia and Class AAAA All-State first-team defense… Scout.com five-star prospect, #33 player, #6 defensive end in the country and #2 player in Georgia ESPN.com five-star recruit, ESPNU 150, #13 player in the country and #2 defensive end
TODD GRANTHAM’S COMMENTS: “Ray is a tremendous athlete. He’s got size and length. He has pass rush skills in the sense that he’s got quickness off the ball. He also has the flexibility to bend around the edge. Ray also has the strength to jack guys up when they come at him. I think he is going to be able to rush off the edge. We will play him at the ‘Will’ linebacker position, which is where Justin Houston played, and we are expecting big things from him. We’re going to put him out there and let him go, and just let him play and use his athletic ability. He’s got length, and he’s got pass-rush skills. The position that he’s going to play is going to allow him to utilize his athletic ability in space.”
Mark Richt’S COMMENTS: “Ray’s greatest strength might be his character and ability to recruit. He asked me if he could keep recruiting for the 2012 class once he was on campus, and I said: ‘Yes!’ He’s something special.”
Rodney Garner’S COMMENTS: “I think Ray Drew is an outstanding young man. I think he epitomizes what we want in a student-athlete. I think he has pride in this class. Outside of our coaching staff, I would say that he deserves as much credit as anyone for this class as anyone. I think he did a really good job in selling his belief in Georgia, Coach Richt and this University. Even though 2010 tarnished us a little bit, I think Ray realized that the University of Georgia is still gold… we just need to shine it up. Ray took on that role. I think, in his heart, Ray always thought that Georgia was the place for him.”
OPPOSING COACHES SAY: “I think he’s got exceptional character, exceptional character. I don’t know of anybody I’ve ever met that has exceptional character that’s not going to get better… He’s a great player, without a doubt. We really had to build our game plan around trying to keep up with him. I believe so. He’s definitely an SEC worthy defensive end. He’s a big long kid who has a lot of strength and can really move. You don’t see a lot of kids who have size that can run like him. He’s big and strong now. He’s a specimen. He created a lot of problems for us the last two years. We’re happy to see him graduate.”
LEGGE’S FINAL WORD: What could I possibly say about Ray Drew folks don’t already know. I think I knew for sure that Ray was going to Georgia when he flagged me down while I was on the sideline at the Florida game last October. Equipped with a red pom-pom, Ray ran to the bottom row of stands and said hello – we’d not seen one another in some time. I was pretty sure he was going to Georgia before that, but was certain afterwards. Still, one can’t underestimate a few things about him. Drew has the potential to be a high-level NFL Draft pick. His body was made for the 3-4; he could grow into a real killer. The night I watched him live he dominated – and that’s what I wanted to see. He could not be stopped, and he was interested in playing… a very good combination. Also, Drew was pivotal in cementing this class, and that means a lot. He will be the glue guy in the future.