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Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 1:17pm

Drew Prepares to Make College Choice

Fresh off winning a defensive player of the year award at a Thomas County Central (GA) awards banquet, Ray Drew appeared on Score Atlanta’s The Official Visit to discuss the recruiting process, which will end for him this Friday. Drew was recently passed by Monroe Area defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt as the top player in the state of Georgia according to one recruiting service, but the rankings don’t mean much to Drew. “I know what it takes to be great,” boasts Drew. “I’m going to go out each day and work...and play to the best of my ability.” Drew was still listed as the top player from the state of Georgia and one of the 10 best in the nation by The Sporting News.

Drew is set to make his decision this Friday and one seeming favorite may already be out of the running. The Georgia Bulldogs would figure to lead for Drew’s services, especially since the recent commitments of Xzavier Ward, Damian Swann, Jay Rome and Malcolm Mitchell, but Drew admitted that Georgia had its drawbacks.

“They’ve gone to a 3-4 defense and that’s been weighing on me,” Drew revealed. “I’m not too fond of that idea (of playing standing up and not with a hand on the ground).”

Drew also broke the news that Georgia is looking at him as an outside linebacker and not a defensive end, his current position and his projected position at the next level. “I believe I play better in a 4-3, with my hand in the dirt.” That statement could be the final nail in Georgia’s bid to snag the defensive end.

“I have to do what is best for me, academically and football-wise. I’ll look at everything as a whole.” Drew did give Georgia’s journalism program some positive points though and praised the education aspect that UGA presented.

The new favorite might just be Auburn for Drew’s services as the defensive end used the term “family” to describe the Auburn program. “The coaches really stand out,” Drew gushed about Auburn. “They care about you as a person.” War Eagle Nation may also love to hear that Drew noted “unless something miraculous happens (between now and Friday and eventually National Signing Day), odds are I will not be headed to Alabama.”

Clemson is making a late push for Drew’s services and Drew calls the Clemson Tiger program “the most peaceful.” He noted that head coach Dabo Swinney is trying to set up a visit before Drew makes his decision, but time is running out. Drew did like the possibility that he would “be able to get thrown into the (DE) rotation as a freshman,” with plenty of playing time on the table over the next three or four years.

LSU and Miami were also mentioned, each having positives. The LSU Tigers present a unique situation in that Drew’s faith could lead him to become team chaplain, taking over for Drake Nevis. Miami meanwhile has new coach Al Golden who, according to Drew, is “trying to get the program back to the glory days.” Drew calls Golden a genuine guy. Miami also features a family connection as Drew claims that 90% of his dad’s family is from the area.

In the end, Drew said he will have to weigh each school’s positives, which factors he considers to be the most important and whether he can see himself there. He gives Georgia the edge in education, Clemson the edge in being the “most peaceful,” LSU the edge in football and Auburn the edge in relationships and coaches. Drew will have to weigh their options quickly as he plans on announcing his selection this Friday. At this point, it could go any way, but you get the feeling that the Georgia Dream Team won’t be adding Drew to its haul.