Blake Leaves Impression on Ga. DE

North Carolina assistant coach John Blake made his second evaluation visit to Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central High School recently. He followed the trip up with a phone conversation with Ray Drew, a four-star defensive end from the school.

"I really like Coach Blake," Drew said. "He's someone I can see myself playing for. We have a lot in common."

Drew and Blake had one prior phone conversation. However, it wasn't nearly as long as this one.

"It wasn't even about football," Drew said of the recent chat. "It was about the love of the lord. He's an ordained minister. I'm a licensed minister as well… It was like a regular old conversation, like we've known each other for years."

Drew admits that having so much off-the-field in common with Blake, UNC's defensive line coach, that it'll help the Tar Heels' chances.

"Coach Blake seems like one of the top guys I could see myself playing for," the 6-foot-5, 243-pounder said.

Other assistant coaches have also made strong impressions on Drew, such as Georgia's Todd Grantham and Rodney Garner, Tracey Rocker of Auburn, and Chris Rumph of Clemson.

"All those men are just very down-to-earth type of guys, very humble, know what they want in life, and know how to develop players," Drew said.

Nearly two dozen schools have offered Drew a scholarship, including the four aforementioned schools, Alabama, California, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Southern Cal.

Every school is recruiting Drew as a defensive end. Alabama, Georgia, and Georgia Tech have discussed standing him up and giving him coverage responsibilities, in addition to having him rush the passer.

Drew has made visits to Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

On May 29, Drew plans to return to Auburn for the Big Cat Weekend.

Between now and the end of the football season, Drew hopes to visit California, LSU, Michigan, UNC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Southern Cal, and UCLA. However, his hectic summer schedule will make it nearly impossible to actually take all of those visits.

"My summer [will] stay so crazy between the FCA camps and the different activities they have at the school and workouts and practices," Drew said. "I really don't have time for myself."

Following the football season, Drew, who says he's wide open, plans to trim his list of schools under consideration to no more than ten.

"Basically what I'm looking for in a school is a school with academic success, because football doesn't last forever," Drew said. "How does a degree from that school match up with degrees from other schools?

"I'm also looking at player-coach relationship. I like to know who I'm playing for, what they stand for, what their morals are.

"I'm also pretty big on fan support and tradition, as well."

Drew isn't exactly sure when he'll make a verbal commitment. But he said it will likely come after taking all five of his official visits.

Ray Drew Profile

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