Thomasville, GA- Southern Georgia star Ray Drew has been very busy the last few weeks. He’s been taking some visits recently and continues to hear from more and more colleges. The 6’5″ 253 pound defensive end claims he is up to 23 offers at this time. LSU, Notre Dame, USC, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky are a few of the latest to offer. The last three visits he took were to South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Ray spoke about those visits and some other recruiting details.
“Tennessee was great. I ate real good, and ate with the players. I got to sit with my position coach, Chuck Smith, he used to play for the Atlanta Falcons so I know he has experience. I got to meet coach Dooley and most of his family. He was great, his whole family was great. Craig James from ESPN was there too. I liked the campus and area, the stadium was really big too.”
“South Carolina was great too, we got there Monday afternoon and one of the coaches recommended a place to stay at. So we went and got set up there then met the next day. We toured the facilities, saw the new stuff, saw the academic center. In the athletics building they have this big chicken in the doorway. I guess it cost like $30,000, it was pretty interesting. (slight laugh)”
“I went to Florida’s spring game last weekend. That went well, but the parking was a hassle. But I got to watch the game, it was a big game. There was a lot of fan support which I liked. Afterwards I met with Coach (Urban) Meyer, my mom and brother did too. His first impression was a very good one. I know my mom liked him because first thing he started talking about academics and she really liked that. I know he left a good impression on her.”
Ray notes he is in no hurry and will just continue to take his time with his college decision. There are no visits planned currently although he is certain he will be taking more.
“I’m just taking my time right now, I’m going to continue to evaluate some more schools, I’m going to be certain when I make my decision. I will make a very late decision, I want to be 100 percent, leave no doubt when I do it.”
With 23 offers in hand, he’s also hearing from a host of other schools. He took a second to explain who is pursuing him hardest, and exactly what position some schools have talked about him playing.
“Right now I feel like Georgia Tech, Clemson, LSU, Florida and Tennessee are recruiting me the hardest. Other schools are too, but they seem to stick out a little more than the others. Miami has been talking to me a lot, but they are waiting on my film I guess. I’m not sure if schools want me at weak (side) or strong (side) defensive end, but a few schools have talked about linebacker. The teams that run a 3-4 plan on using me like a hybrid outside linebacker. A lot of them call it a “jack” linebacker. I actually prefer to play with my hand in the dirt, so we’ll see what happens.”
Alabama is one of those schools that plan to use him as a Jack linebacker. Coach Pruitt has been by to visit Ray at school, he shared his thoughts on the Tide program.
“I talked to Pruitt in person during basketball season. I also spoke with the strength and conditioning coach as well. They both seem like great guys. Coach Saban knows what he’s after too, he’s strictly business. I went over there last year for a summer camp. I will try to get back on campus over there at least once or twice more before I make my decision.”
Florida State was one of Ray’s earliest offers. The Noles are the closest campus to his home location. He’s been there more times than he can remember through the years, and they continue to remain in his interest.
“FSU is only like 30 minutes away from me. I’ve been down there quite a few times through the years. I’ve only met the new coaching staff once, but they were all very friendly. Anthony McCloud and Debrale Smiley went to my school. I am pretty good friends with Amp. I know that there was an incident when Amp needed to leave urgently, coach Fisher and the other coaches did everything they could to help him, and I’ll always remember that. They show lots of family love down there and I like that.”