Ray Drew calls out prospects to join him on UGA’s ‘Dream Team’ (UPDATED)

THOMASVILLE – Legendary NFL defensive end Michael Strahan, Ray Drew’s self-described “mentor,” couldn’t make it. But Randall Godfrey and David Pollack did. And their presence at the 5-star defensive end’s college announcement here at Thomas County Central High School Friday spoke volumes about the impact and reach this high school football player has had.

From left to right, David Pollack, Randall Godfrey and Ray Drew. (Photo by Chip Towers, ajc.com)

From left to right, David Pollack, Randall Godfrey and Ray Drew. (Photo by Chip Towers, ajc.com)

Drew chose the University of Georgia over a stack of more than 50 scholarship offers. And that’s one of the reasons Godfrey and Pollack, each former NFL and UGA players, were here. But, they said, it was not the only reason.

“I spoke at a banquet for In The Game Magazine a while back and presented him with an award,” said Godfrey, who hails from nearby Lowndes County. “And the first time he got up and spoke, I was like, “Man, look at this guy!” I was impressed. So we kept in touch after that and I knew I needed to support him regardless of what decision he made. But I’m glad he’s a Georgia guy because this kid has the works. I’m talking about leadership, everything. He’s going to make an impact, not only on the field but off the field.”

Said Pollack: “I just started to get to know him and to speak to him and, my God, I’ve never met a kid like this. I mean, 18 years old, to have your head on this straight, I mean, it’s kind of scary. I was kind of similar to him but I wasn’t as mature. I was growing in my faith and I was learning, but this kid is grounded and he has goals. You listen to his goals and what he wants to do, it’s pretty outstanding. I look forward to working with him anyway I can.”

Drew is a licensed minister who preaches regularly at Paradise Missionary Baptist Church and at various churches across South Georgia. He’s also a consensus 5-star prospect, the No. 1-rated player in America at his position by Rivals.com and the No. 2 player in Georgia per the AJC Fab 50.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end will play outside linebacker at Georgia, the same position as Justin Houston, the all-star junior who just departed for the NFL. Drew’s commitment.

“I actually dreamed about this last night,” Drew said in a one-on-one interview after his announcement. “It actually took place before it actually took place. I was a little nervous but not too much. It’s just a relief, like something really heavy has been lifted up off of me.”

Drew’s commitment continues quite a bit of late recruiting momentum for the Bulldogs particularly in South Georgia. Just last week they plucked tight end Jay Rome, the AJC’s No. 3 players, and athlete Malcolm Mitchell, No. 6, out of Valdosta. On Monday they nabbed No. 9, offensive tackle Xzavier Ward, out of Colquitt County.

So now Georgia has secured the numbers 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 11 and 12 players in the state. And they’re a finalist for No. 1. Running back Isaiah Crowell of Carver-Columbus will announce his decision between Georgia and Alabama on Wednesday, national signing day.

Georgia is also in position to nab some out-of-state talent down the stretch. Jeoffrey Pagan, the No. 4-ranked defensive end in the country, de-committed to Clemson on Thursday and is said the favor the Bulldogs. They’re also in the lead for nose guard John Jenkins of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, the sixth-ranked junior college player in America.

Drew called out to those players to follow him to UGA.

“I just want to say to Jay at the end of his announcement, I heard your call,” Drew said. “And now I’ve given an answer. Isaiah Crowell, we’re waiting on you; Antonio Richardson, we’re waiting on you; John Jenkins, we’re waiting on you; and Jeoffrey Pagan, we’re waiting on you. Come join what we’re putting together, the Dream Team. But remember, a dream is only a dream until you make it reality. So I’m calling you out on this one. I hope you’re not afraid to be thrown into the fire. I hope you’re not afraid to be the ones to make the change.”

Crowell, Pagan, Richardson and Jenkins are all expected to make their announcements on national signing day or later.

Drew is the Bulldogs’ 23rd commitment. By rule, Georgia could sign as many as 28 players in this class and admit as many as 27 for fall semester. Two members of the Class of 2011, wide receiver Chris Conley and quarterback Christian LeMay, have already enrolled in school and count toward the 2010 recruiting class.

Following is a partial transcription of Drew’s announcement as he delivered it:

First I’d like to thanks all the schools that recruited me:

Georgia: I became not only a recruit but a friend to many coaches on the staff.

Auburn: Auburn is a place that makes you feel at home. I personally think in the recruiting process the most overused word is family. At Auburn University, they actually make you feel like you’re in a family. . . . War Eagle!

Louisiana State: I’ve never been or seen a more crazy, exciting fan base. I have never seen a coach quite as unique as coach Miles. I truly appreciate them for everything. Go Tigers, as in G-E-A-U-X.

Clemson: Coach Swinney is putting together something very special in the hills of South Carolina. Clemson is a very unique place in that it has a population of 12,000, a student body of 17,000 but it has an 85,000 seat stadium sitting right in the middle. You do the math. In the words of the great Coach Howard, if you’re not going to give 110 percent, keep your filthy hands off my rock.

Miami: Coach Golden is a very genuine guy. He knows where The U used to be and he plans on bringing back the swagger. . . . And you can’t ask for a better campus Coral Gables. Go ‘Canes.

Thanks to the other schools for recruiting me, and I have nothing but respect for all them.

After many long nights of prayer – and I believe I’ve prayed about this decision more than I’ve prayed for my own well being – after a very close evaluation of each school, I have made a final decision, to attend . . .

It’s the toughest single decision I’ve ever had to make, hands down. I’m going to pick . . .

I’m just glad this whole thing is over, it’s really been very, very stressful [laughter] . . .

Throughout all the War Eagles and all the Go Tigers and throwing up the U of Miami, none compared to the two words that say it all, [throws on Georgia cap], Go Dawgs!

By Chip Towers, The College Recruiting Blog.

1,383 comments Add your comment

Maconbulldog

January 28th, 2011
7:08 am

First!!!! I always wanted to do that

Maconbulldog

January 28th, 2011
7:14 am

So yeah hoping this guy picks the Dawgs. I mean he admits with toying with fans which is kind of funny, but hey when you are 17 or 18 you are allowed to have a little fun right? 3hrs from now we will see where he goes if we dont pick him up…..oh well we got Jeoffrey Pagan to look forward to. Oh well this has been fun watching it unfold.

sandman053

January 28th, 2011
7:15 am

WinderDawg

January 28th, 2011
7:16 am

I hope all the hype comes to light in a couple of years.

TampaGator

January 28th, 2011
7:17 am

Drew to Athens….do doubt. Georgia will end up with a top 5 class and dreams still live. Jenkins and his 340 lbs. are in G’ville this weekend…but I expect him to be a Dawg too. Richt…certainly not the best builder of talent….but certainly a great recruiter of it.

TampaGator

January 28th, 2011
7:18 am

That’s “no doubt”

German Shepherd Dawg

January 28th, 2011
7:19 am

Hey Winder,

If you’d watched the all star game, you’d know Drew isn’t hype. The guy couldn’t be blocked when I was watching….

Win P.

January 28th, 2011
7:20 am

Mr. Drew sounds like a lot of trouble to me. He needs his own football team.

Destin Dawg

January 28th, 2011
7:20 am

He’ll be a Dawg… kids that stay in State close to support groups.. friends and family… generally do better in school and life after FB…. Parade Magazine says ” UGA #2 large Stae University education…. plus Big time sports ” Go Dawgs !!!

German Shepherd Dawg

January 28th, 2011
7:21 am

Actually, it would appear that Drew, Crowell, Jenkins, Turene and Pagan are possible pickups.

Sweet! Some of these guys will contribute as freshmen.

German Shepherd Dawg

January 28th, 2011
7:22 am

Win P,

Sour grapes? He’s an eighteen year old man having some fun pulling our chains.

woebegong

January 28th, 2011
7:22 am

I hope he comes to UGA and brings the big fellow Jenkins along as a teammate. He will have a lot more success at UGA, if he has the big fellow to occupy two offensive linemen and only has to clear one on his way to the ball. As much as Drew is a quality player and surely can make an impact at DE; We need that big man Jenkins in the middle to really shore up the defense and get after the offense again. The 3-4 requires a big guy in the middle and we did not have that last year. It is the key to making this type of defense go. occupy two men in the middle, and the DE can raise havoc and it also gives you a good chance to blitz a lot more with your linebackers and not get burnt.

J

January 28th, 2011
7:27 am

He’ll fo to GA. He’ll also find out that the bulldogs never live up to expectations. GA fans sound like this recriuting class is some savior or something. Richt might not even be around un a few years. Keep wishing GA fans. you get that championship one day…..when Fl, Auburn, AL, and LSU go to the ACC!

DeepDiver

January 28th, 2011
7:28 am

Mmm I love a warm damn eagle. Nice one Chip!

Down South Jacket

January 28th, 2011
7:30 am

Hope the guy stays in-state.

Gatormeat

January 28th, 2011
7:30 am

If he has any sense he will go anywhere but athens. It has been years since georgia has won more games in a season than they have had arrests and this year will be no different. It would be a total waste of a career and a life to play for georgia, let’s hope he is smarter than that

Johnny Too Good

January 28th, 2011
7:31 am

finally………… i’m bettin UGA get him. And the Crowell kid is waitin til signing day right?

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

Maconbulldog

January 28th, 2011
7:36 am

@woebegong “We need that big man Jenkins in the middle to really shore up the defense and get after the offense again.”

Yeah we do. Kind of like a Mount Cody……maybe

sandman053

January 28th, 2011
7:37 am

Is it 10:30 already?

82Dawg

January 28th, 2011
7:39 am

@gatormeat…what are you talking about arrests for? I think UF has had their fare share lately..

AP

January 28th, 2011
7:40 am

I want this kid in Athens because I think he will be the “team leader” we have been missing the last several years. Drew on one side, Pagan on the other, Sterling Bailey on the line of scrimmage, the future of the D-line would look good if this comes to pass.

Brooksdawg

January 28th, 2011
7:43 am

Its the 4th quarter with less than 2 to go—can we close strong? GO DAWGS!

sandman053

January 28th, 2011
7:44 am

in arrests I think UF is in the lead

Grim Reaper

January 28th, 2011
7:48 am

Drew is a Dawg, no deal made with me to seal it, he’s a great pick up and wish him the best in every game but the one in Jacksonvulle. I don’t know about these so called “dream teams”, but Drew will be an offensive lineman’s nightmare…

Jacket Man

January 28th, 2011
7:48 am

While Ray is a quality young man, he has taken the recruiting process a bit far, much like Prior before he selected Ohio State. I realize some of the kids thrive on the attention, however, for someone who attests to being so religious and forthright, I don’t see the humility normally associated with the attention he’s obviously seeking.

On the flip side, I saw Stephon Tuitt, who is also a five star player, not seeking any attention and obviously struggled with his decision. He avoided interviews and the limelight and didn’t try to make the recruiting process a spectacle.

Now if I were a head coach and was looking for a kid I wanted on my team, I would look for one that was like Stephon Tuitt over Ray Drew any day. He’s a kid who doesn’t like to put the spotlight on himself, which tells me he’s more apt to be a team player whereas Ray Drew likes the lime light, which tells me he’s more apt to be a prima donna.

Johnny Too Good

January 28th, 2011
7:51 am

@jacket man………….. I just hope they can all live up to the hype

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

Maconbulldog

January 28th, 2011
7:51 am

@gatormeat…because the University of Florida have such great young men that they do not toss their stolen laptops out of windows and go to a JUCO and then get paid to go to another team with the same colors but a different name and state…….and they certainly do not get arrested felony stalking.

Bitter vince dooly in south beach

January 28th, 2011
7:52 am

some of you people have been in the sun more than me, take note::::

have of these kids end up not playing at all, go back and check list of recruits since 2002, just a fact, half fall victim to stupidity!!!!

collage aint”"”" fo everybodie, hahah

the mind set of the coaching staff—especially at miss, ala, sign many and start the weeding process!!!!

just a fact yaaw, no promisses after high school

but if, just if you bring in a dion sanders, well we all no –the rest of the story—–

the only sure thing in collage recruiting for georgia has been #34 h. walker, #1 kid out of high school, #1 kid out of collage

only happens every 50 years, before him–frankie sinkwich 1940’s

H-Town Dawg

January 28th, 2011
7:53 am

@ Jacket Man

Unless Drew has been a silent commit to Georgia all along, for which there have been indications.

Vick=Dog killing thug

January 28th, 2011
7:54 am

Get over yourself Jacket boy. He’s a kid and he’s enjoying himself. These young athletes are under a lot of pressure and I for one admire the young man to be able to enjoy the process and poke fun at the whole thing.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cary Clark and BamaNation.net, Chip Towers. Chip Towers said: It’s ‘Revelation Day’ for Rev. Ray Drew Jr., licensed minister/5-star defensive end http://bit.ly/hQIQml [...]

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January 28th, 2011
7:56 am

Enter your comments here

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January 28th, 2011
7:56 am

1970 Dawg

January 28th, 2011
7:58 am

If he’s a Baptist minister, he may speak for 45 minutes and we still won’t know where he’s heading. Just kidding Ray, come on to UGA. We need you.

BigDawg

January 28th, 2011
7:58 am

Come on preacher Drew come to Athens and help CMR preach the word and keep some of these kids out of trouble.

Asheville Dawg

January 28th, 2011
8:01 am

I have enjoyed hearing the Rev. Drew playing the crowd of on lookers. Remarkable intelligence for a young man to see through all the nonsense and toy with everyone. Hope you enjoy your choice and have a great career.

chickenman

January 28th, 2011
8:02 am

Come on Ray come be David pollack II

BiGame

January 28th, 2011
8:09 am

If Ray watched UGA football for the past 2 years, he’d realize that the coaching staff has NOT taken advantage of all of the stockpiles of talent on both sides of the ball.

Even if the “Dream Team” comes together for the Dawgs, they’ll be lucky if they come in 3rd in the SEC EAST next year.

RAY AND OTHER RECRUITS – THINK AND PRAY HARD IF YOU’RE GOING TO CHOOSE UGA! IT AIN’T GONNA BE A PRETTY RIDE OVER THE NEXT 2 YEARS.

Bad Dog

January 28th, 2011
8:11 am

BiGame = Bitter Tech fan

Party at the Moontower

January 28th, 2011
8:15 am

Alright, alright, alright…….

Welcome to Athens Ray!!!!

woebegong

January 28th, 2011
8:16 am

BI-Game,

Is your favorite team, Alabama, Aubrun, Tennessee, or Tech? Just curious.
The players UGA is recruiting will not have a great impact for 2011 but will make a much greater impact in 2012. J. Jenkins being the exception if he does go to UGA.

ATL is TigerTown

January 28th, 2011
8:17 am

If he’s smart, he’ll be an Auburn Tiger.

Sleeze

January 28th, 2011
8:17 am

Drew’s definitely a Dawg. And it looks like Pagan will be too. Clemson’s websites are saying that Pagan is no longer in their plans.

D A DoubleU G

January 28th, 2011
8:18 am

BiGame,

you do realize that a recruiting class doesn’t have true impact for at least 2 years right??

Only you, the bitter Tech people, will point to this class when UGA has a few losses next year. The real people know we are 2 years away from truly righting the ship.

Sorry for your team simply sucking with no change in sight, btw.

Down South Jacket

January 28th, 2011
8:19 am

CMR is putting together a great recruiting class, but only 3-4 of these guys will be major contributors this year. If CMR goes 8-5 this year with a loss to the Gators and a loss to plus a bad loss to a team UGA should beat, is CMR your coach in 2012?

sandman053

January 28th, 2011
8:22 am

True DA Double….I think this whole situation bodes well for 2012, but with what we have on-hand I think we are good for ten wins this year and if we start 2-0…look out.

sandman053

January 28th, 2011
8:23 am

CMR is going to be the coach. It depends on the record but I think he will get an extension after this year.

Ga. Fan

January 28th, 2011
8:23 am

These people that say they know exactly what Ga. will do in the future,how come they haven’t won the lottery yet.

D A DoubleU G

January 28th, 2011
8:23 am

Down South Jacket….

Yes he is.

The vast majority of Dawg fans are realists. We know things will not be great next year. Do not let Mark Bradley, Jeff Schultz or the idiots who post on these anonymous blogs fool you.

Mark Richt is loved in Athens. We as a fanbase give him our full support.

Notice how even on a down year, you still see the Georgia “G” all over the place. I haven’t seen too much Jacket gear lately……..

jay

January 28th, 2011
8:23 am

LOL @ ppl chastising an 18 year old kid for playing with the hearts and minds of grown men. Play it up Ray and make the best decision for you and your family. Hopefully that’s UGA…..