Getting to spend time to interviewing high profile athletes is definitely a highlight of this job, and yesterday held an interview I will not soon forget. Ray Drew of Thomas County Central high school is not your typical interview. Many know the name because as he says it, "I quit counting (scholarship) offers around 35 or so.”
There is whole other side to Drew many do not know about: The part of being a minister and speaker already at his young age.
“I really have to manage my time well, because of school, recruiting, football and church,” said Drew. "I was just looking at my schedule for this weekend, I have speaking engagements on Saturday and Sunday. Looking forward to next month I already have three Sundays in a row I will be speaking, so it can get hectic.”
Despite being a star athlete, Drew knows that kids come to him for advice because they can trust him.
“There is a freshman here, that I have adopted, I guess you can say,” he said. "He comes to me about problems I offer him advice. I get that a lot where maybe a kid is not comfortable talking to an adult, so I am there for them.”
On the field Ray Drew is looked at as the leader and someone trying to get this team back to state championship game. Thomas County Central won five state championships in the 90’s
"There is pressure coming from a school that has produced players such as Charlie Ward and Joe Burns," Drew said. "We have won a lot of championships here too, so we are trying to get back there. People of Thomas County are big time football fans. It didn’t matter if we played in Alaska. They would be there or find a way to listen. We have a big senior class so they are expecting great things out of this team.”
Recruiting is starting to pick back up since coaches are now allowed to call again.
“It has picked up again big time," he said. "I had to tell a coach last night, I will call him back last night because I had to finish homework first.”
Drew is getting close to setting up all of five official visits starting with LSU next month.
“I would like to get up to Notre Dame, because of my good friend Stephon Tuitt just committed to them,” said Drew. “Me and Stephon really hit it off this summer at a camp in Virginia. We talked about us playing together on the next level. I would also like to go to Michigan to see the big house. Every football player knows about that place. I have spoken with the UCLA staff about a visit. I think me and Gabe Wright are talking about going out there together at same time. Nebraska, Miami and Ohio State are also schools that I am thinking about visiting. There are a lot of schools I would like to see before I decide on signing day.”
Drew says that the “local” schools he has seen many times already and has a pretty good feel for.
“I have been to Florida State so many times I have lost count," he said. "I have been down to Florida a couple of times. I believe if I have been there a couple of times, I have a pretty good feel about the program I have no need to take an official there. I am going to use my officials as trips to schools that I know I have interest in, but you just can’t hop in the car and go to every day.”
He says at times he does feel the pressure to stay in state from fans.
“I hear it a lot from people just being fans about where I should go,” said Drew.” I can’t go anywhere without the fans of schools coming to me offering advice on where to go. I just have to find a place that is right from me, no matter where I have to go to find it.”
Is Drew going to visit Georgia?
“I think I will be going up there for the Vanderbilt game,” said Drew. “I have talked to some other recruits that will be there that weekend. I want to tour their journalism school, because that is what I plan to major in.”
Needless to say, it seems fans from coast to coast will have to wait until national signing day to see which school “Rev” Ray will decide on for his future.