Thomasville’s Ray Drew has a calling other than football

AJC Top 10 prospect Ray Drew hasn’t exactly been burning up the junior days circuit. But he gets a pass. He’s been busy saving souls.

In addition to daily workouts in the Thomas County Central weight room and track practice — he’s a state-ranked thrower — the 6-foot-5, 240-pound, bluechip football prospect is a licensed minister. He works out of Paradise Missionary Baptist Church in Thomasville and spreading the Lord’s word is his life’s passion.

In fact, what little spare time Drew has had of late has been spent preparing for a three-day revival this week in Ochlocknee.

“I’ve done five or six of these,” said Drew, who has been licensed since 2006. “There’s usually a good number of people on hand. I have a group that follows me wherever I go, my parents, my grandparents and some people from our church. And then there’s the people who come out.”

Talking comes easy for the personable Drew, so it would follow that preaching would also. He has given numerous sermons in his young life.

“I’m more into teaching the Word than anything,” Drew said. “But I can bring a little ‘whoop’ to it I guess you could say, you know, get the congregation worked up. I don’t do too much of that but I can make it exciting if need be.”

Drew can play a little football, too. For now at least, that’s what is bringing him national attention.

To date the rangy defensive end with 4.7 speed has upward of 20 scholarship offers. In the last week or so Southern Cal, Notre Dame, Miami, Rutgers, Mississippi State, South Florida and Louisville have joined a list that already included Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State, among others.

So far this year Drew has attended junior days at only Georgia Tech (Jan. 30) and Florida State (Feb. 27). He also took a one-day unofficial visit to UGA on Jan. 31. He plans to go to Florida’s junior day March 27. In two weeks he’ll spend his spring break touring schools in the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee.

But he’s in no rush. He said his only timeline with regard to recruiting is “national signing day.”

“I’m just going to play it by ear,” he said.

Exactly what position Drew will play in college is uncertain. He earned his reputation in high school dominating the line of scrimmage while playing out of a stance. He had 72 tackles and six sacks playing that way last season.

But with Tech and Georgia switching to a new 3-4 look, he’s being looked at the Will, or weakside outside linebacker position. And Drew still is not sure how he feels about that.

“I’m used to playing with my hand in the dirt,” he said. “I’ll have to get up there and learn a little more about it and get a feel for it because I’m not used to playing in a stand-up position.”

Asked if playing up or down would be an issue in his recruitment, Drew said, “somewhat.”

41 comments Add your comment

Taylor S

March 9th, 2010
5:34 am

sounds like a good fit with CMR.


March 9th, 2010
5:46 am

Taylor said it best!! I bet he signs with the dawgs? RTR


March 9th, 2010
6:47 am

as long as he brings fire and brimstone passion he will be ok. Go Dawgs!!


March 9th, 2010
7:03 am

Ray Drew will be a success in life where ever he attends school. He has his priorities straight for sure. If you put God first in your life, everything else going to fall into place.


March 9th, 2010
7:03 am

Lizard King

March 9th, 2010
7:28 am

We could really use a replacement for Tim down here. And please bring James Vaughters with you.

Vick=Dog killing thug

March 9th, 2010
7:59 am

I’m still sick over Mett getting arrested. What a blow.


March 9th, 2010
8:15 am

Drew’s an FSU lock…..Look for CMR to lose another one from South Ga.


March 9th, 2010
8:20 am

Mett=Drunk Thug


March 9th, 2010
8:22 am

There are three or four great d-ends coming out of georgia this yr. We have to land some of theses big time players. The safety position is also stacked. It would be nice to get 5-7 of the top ten players in georgia, but we have to step it up. It looks like we might get 3 or 4 as of right now which is not good enough.


March 9th, 2010
8:25 am

If Mett was leading the qb comp theres no way he does this.Those boys arent stupid.Barring injury this is Murray’s job.

General Mills

March 9th, 2010
8:33 am

We need all the help we can get.Bring Ray and Jesus to Athens.Apparently Reverend CMR and company could use a little help. AMEN !!!!!


March 9th, 2010
8:52 am

Young man, I am so proud to hear about what God is doing in your life. Listen to His direction in your life, and you cannot go wrong.
Psalm 68:19


March 9th, 2010
9:10 am

@ Frank, ditto.
Wherever he goes, perhaps his football career can give him a wider audience for his ministry.


March 9th, 2010
9:21 am

What a difference between you and Da’thug Rogers on your outlook on life.I would bet when you do commit to a school you will honor your word and it is so good to see that still exist today. Good for you young man, let God lead you to where you should be and you won’t go wrong.

The D

March 9th, 2010
10:01 am

JayDawg I think your correct on that assumption. It has been Murray’s job since the last year!

Hope Drew gives the Dawgs a good look, and truly listens to how he would be used. God Bless

Magic Man

March 9th, 2010
10:21 am


We should get more than 3-4 of the top ten players in Georgia. Here are Scout and Rivals early top ten’s (much more valid than Chip Tower’s):

1 Jay Rome
2 Isaiah Crowell
3 James Vaughters
4 Ray Drew
5 Gabe Wright
6 Damian Swann
7 CJ Uzomah
8 Stephen Tuitt
9 Xzavier Dickson
10 Nick Marshall

1 Isaiah Crowell
2 Jay Rome
3 Ray Drew
4 James Vaughters
5 Damian Swann
6 Gabe Wright
7 Nick Marshall
8 Stephen Tuitt
9 Xzavier Dickson
10 Corey Moore

UGA currently leads for Ray Drew and Nick Marshall and has a commitment from Corey Moore. Rome is Clemson’s to lose, but UGA will be in it until the end. UGA is in the lead group for Wright and Crowell. Crowell has stated that Bama is his leader in articles, but many insiders actually think FSU leads for his services. However, he grew up an UGA fan and they will have every chance to reel him in. Bama led for Wright at one point, but he currently lists no leader with UGA, Bama, Auburn, and FSU all even. UGA and Bama are neck and neck for Swann and insiders think UGA will land him. CJ Uzomah will likely go somewhere besides UGA at this point. UGA was in the lead for Stephen Tuitt until a midweek unofficial to GT put them in the lead a few weeks back. They were able to spend undivided attention on him during the unofficial and made a huge move. UGA did likewise on Swann at the end of January. Bama and UGA are neck and neck for Dickson and will likely fight it out until the end for his services. UGA has a really good shot with him, helping their cause is the commitment of Moore. UGA is currently in the lead for Marshall and are the favorite for his services. But, FSU are right on their heels and are a legitimate threat. They are making Marshall a priority. Vaughters hasn’t named a leader and doesn’t tip his hand. UGA will be in it until the end and the commitment of his teammate helps them as does their historical success at Tucker, but nobody truly knows where he will end up.

So they have Moore locked up. Lead for Marshall and Drew. Are the favorite for Swann. Are in a fight for Wright, Crowell, Dickson, Tuitt, Vaughters, and Rome. They are on the outside looking in on Uzomah.

I see at least four or five of those signing with UGA. My guess: Crowell, Drew, Wright, Swann, Marshall, Dickson, Tuitt. Wow, that is a lot. Long way until signing day though and a lot can change between now and then.


March 9th, 2010
10:43 am

i hope we get those boys. I have seen Dickson and Moore play in person three or four times. Dickson cant not be stopped teams will not even try to run to his side after a couple of times. When Bama first came to visit him the Griffin Daily News did an interview with him and he said Georgia was his favorite as kid growing up, but they had not shown very much interest at that time (this was around October i think) Moore is a stud too, but Dickson has a chance to be great.

Dan the Man

March 9th, 2010
10:50 am

Magic man – hate to break it to ya – because you gave a very good perspective there – but Nick Marshall is not going to UGA. He will be in Tallahassee next year, along with Brother Ray. As a Nole, I can only dream a guy like Crowell ends up here, but without a 1000 yard rusher since Warrick Dunn, gonna be hard to make that happen. I also think Isaiah sees the opportunity at Bama to continue a string of elite backs, as Ingram is gone after this year, and Richardson/Crowell would be a lethal combo a la Ronnie Brown/Cadillac. Good analysis though, sans the Marshall/Drew stuff.


March 9th, 2010
1:02 pm

FSU is not getting Crowell, but if he follows Wright to Bama, FSU looks better for Buck Allen. I can live with that…

Magic Man

March 9th, 2010
1:12 pm


You are correct. Our old staff didn’t show Dickson much interest. They thought he was too small to play DE and too big and slow for LB. But, as soon as our new staff came in and switched to the 3-4, they got on him hard. UGA made up a lot of ground on Bama at the past Junior Day.

Magic Man

March 9th, 2010
1:16 pm

Dan the Man,

You may be right about Marshall and Crowell, but who knows. I am just telling you what I think from reading their updates, watching their interviews, and asking the experts at the sites for which I am a member. Everyone thinks Bama is Crowell’s leader, but their is sentiment among insiders that if anyone leads right now it is FSU. Obviously, he is high on Bama and grew up a UGA fan. He has already stated that he will not be committing until an All-American game or Signing Day, so a lot can happen between now and then. I think he comes to UGA honestly, just a hunch after seeing the way his eyes light up whenever he talks about UGA. Marshall is being heavily targeted by FSU and UGA. FSU has been on him longer and send the whole staff to a lot of his games, basketball especially. I know he is high on both, but I feel UGA leads at this time. Certianly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he chose either one. UGA helped themselves by signing Outlaw though.

Magic Man

March 9th, 2010
1:32 pm

On Drew, CMR has personally got heavily involved in his recruitment. They have developed a strong bond through religion and their faith. While FSU lead early on, UGA has jumped out to the lead from what I hear.


March 9th, 2010
1:40 pm

The one thing that people are forgetting about Ray is that he has a church in Thomasville. Tally is only 30 minutes away and can continue to minister there if he chooses FSU. His area of ministry is south Georgia and North Florida, Tally is right in the midst of it. Family and Church are a big part of his life and his family and church family all could very easily travel to Tally to see him play. If he goes to UGA, he would lose his church family and his area of ministry.

Sweet Home Alabama

March 9th, 2010
2:28 pm

Majic Man, i would not get to worked up over who you think you will sign.Remember this Mr.MAJIC MAN,the Tide is on the clock and we have the first five selections .Our first pick is mr.CROWALL,currently on the clock for our second pick.Their will be plenty of picks for the mutts.Ps.FELLOW MUTTS ,I THINK you may need another quarterback.
I am truly sorry your QB HAD to do the pokey least

he almost mad e a whole years.



March 9th, 2010
4:10 pm

And now I understand why Alabama finished behind Georgia in education…

The Sham

March 9th, 2010
5:01 pm

Uh oh Chip! – Magic Man may wave his wand and get him a blog to compete with yours…

Sounds like Drew might appreciate some of the intangibles that Richt has to offer. Hopefully he’s a Dawg as he sounds like a kid we can be proud to have!


March 9th, 2010
5:14 pm

Magic Man, UGA is not in the lead for Drew. He wants to preach at his father’s church, and going to school in Tallahassee gives him that chance. Jimbo has had a relationship with him since he saw Drew as a freshman while recruiting Debrale Smiley and Amp McCloud.

[...] Reported new offers include DC OL Jamar Lewter, DC DT Kevin McReynolds, VA CB Demetrious Nicholson, GA DE Ray Drew, FL ATH Tacoi Sumler, FL WR Ja’Juan Story, FL DE Ryan Shazier, FL TE Jeff Heuerman, and [...]

Magic Man

March 9th, 2010
6:55 pm


Obviously, you must know Drew pretty well. And, I understand where you are coming from. Yes, he wants to preach there. If he goes to UGA, that doesn’t mean he can’t still preach there. The fact of the matter is that during the season he isn’t going to be able to preach as much no matter where he was playing. If that was the primary factor, then he will play at Valdosta State.

And, nothing is set in stone. I am just relaying what I think from reading updates, watching interviews, and soaking in the opinions of “experts” from Scout and Rivals. Richt has developed a strong bond with Drew is all I am saying and that there is some sentiment that UGA has taken a slight lead. No matter what it will probably be a dogfight between UGA and FSU for both Drew and Marshall.


March 9th, 2010
8:28 pm

Hey Magic, you might need to know that Don “Magic Man” Majkowski is an Atlanta resident. I’m gonna tell him that your using his handle! lol


March 9th, 2010
10:09 pm

I’ll pull for Ray anywhere… but plan on doing it in Tallahassee. Playing DE on Saturday and spreading the word back home on Sunday.

The (half) Truth

March 9th, 2010
10:10 pm

Ray, Have I told you how I recently saw God (when I thought I was having a stroke) and he told me he saw you as a Gator. BTW-I’ve often thought of becoming a priest.


March 9th, 2010
11:37 pm

I know Drew likes UGA a lot but there are a lot of things pointing to FSU right now.
-He grew up a huge FSU fan and has been to many games and practices
-His family are huge FSU fans
-His good friend and former teammate Anthony McCloud just enrolled at FSU
-He wants to continue preaching at his church, which is 30 minutes from FSU
-He and his family are very close with Charlie Ward and the Ward family
-He wants to play in a 4-3 defense, which FSU plays
-FSU didn’t bring in a WDE in the past class, and has no proven pass rushers currently on the roster

This is recruiting though, and anything can happen.


March 10th, 2010
1:02 pm

Right now UGA is SOLIDLY in front for Ray. FSU is not even in his top five.

just the truth

March 10th, 2010
6:39 pm

100% Tuitt will not go to UGA.


March 10th, 2010
6:46 pm

He won’t fit in at Georgia. He is not a thug


March 10th, 2010
9:08 pm

“Right now UGA is SOLIDLY in front for Ray. FSU is not even in his top five.”

That just doesn’t make any sense. I’m not debating on whether or not UGA leads, but FSU not in his top 5? Did you hear that from Drew himself?


March 12th, 2010
11:04 pm

You forgot about sterling bailey he is one of the best DE/OLB IN PEACH STATE and for who said that this is scout & rivals top ten you forgot sterling bailey if you don’t belive me look it up.


March 16th, 2010
8:32 am

as someone said, “anything is possible in recruiting….” but it would be a minor miracle for UGA to get ray drew which makes some of your postings HILARIOUS.


October 13th, 2011
4:09 pm

I don’t disagree with this blog post