"It was a hard decision," Drake said. "Both schools were really neck-and-neck. I had taken unofficial visits to both schools this summer, and when I visited Vanderbilt, I felt that was where my heart was.
"I really enjoyed myself there... the coaches, the players, they were all great people. I felt comfortable hanging around the players. I felt like I'd fit in perfectly with those guys. They had exactly the same personality I had. The school was great. I loved the atmosphere, the city and everything. I just felt like that was the place I fit."
Drake said Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings and assistant Jeff Jackson had been hard on his trail for several months.
"Coach Stallings and Coach Jackson both recruited me very hard," Drake said. "Coach Stallings came down to my school last spring to watch me work out. They followed me to the Nike Camp, and to the All-Star Game this summer."
Burdette listed Drake at 6-4, 205 pounds, but Drake says he is closer to 6-3, 200. He is undecided on a major.
"Now that my decision's out of the way, I can concentrate on helping Calera win the state championship. I can be more focused on that."
For the last three seasons, Drake's freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, Calera has advanced to the 2A championship game, but lost. With that kind of record, anything short of a state championship in 2005 will come as a disappointment.