Kenyan Drake shaves ‘A’ in head for Alabama (UPDATED)

How is this for school pride? Hillgrove RB Kenyan Drake with the "A" for Alabama

How is this for school pride? Hillgrove RB Kenyan Drake with the "A" for Alabama

How strong is the commitment of one of Georgia’s top running backs to Alabama?

So strong that he’s wearing proof of it on his head.

Hillgrove High School’s Kenyan Drake recently had the Crimson Tide’s “A” logo shaved into the side of his head.

Is that loyalty or what?

“I went to the barber and gave him my Alabama hat,” Drake explained to the AJC. “He looked at it, and used it as the inspiration to draw it on my head. It really turned out great.”

Drake had his new hairdo in time for “The Opening” — Nike’s new summer training competition this past weekend which featured some of the nation’s top college football prospects.

Drake was like a walking billboard for Alabama recruiting. “If someone didn’t know my name, they would say ‘Hey, Alabama’ to get my attention.”

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Drake surprised many by committing so early, picking Alabama last February among his six offers, including both Georgia Tech and UGA. He would’ve likely doubled or tripled his offers had he remained a free agent farther into the spring. Drake was happy with the Alabama offer, and didn’t see the need to wait any longer to commit.

Like with most top prospects, other colleges continue to recruit Drake and committed players until they officially sign the papers in February. Drake said he hasn’t had much contact with any other schools since talking with UGA coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo last month.

“I talked to them right after school ended, and they wanted to know if I would be able to come up for a visit to Georgia,” Drake said. “I told them I would have to talk to my Dad, but that it was unlikely because of my hectic schedule for the summer. I told them that I probably wasn’t going to make it.”

Is Drake 100-percent committed to Alabama? “I’m 110 percent,” he said. “I’m sold on everything that Alabama has to offer. I’m comfortable with the situation. I really like the coaches, the football tradition and the overall atmosphere. That’s my school.”

Hillgrove RB Kenyan Drake picked Alabama out of 6 offers, including Georgia Tech and UGA (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Hillgrove RB Kenyan Drake picked Alabama out of 6 offers, including Georgia Tech and UGA (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

With Drake headed to Alabama, he is trying to recruit other top prospects to commit to the Crimson Tide, include his buddy Geno Smith, the St. Pius cornerback who has Alabama and Auburn as his co-leaders. At the Nike event, Drake said he worked hard on safety Landon Collins of Geismar, La.

“He said LSU and Alabama are his top schools,” Drake said. “I had frequent conversations with him. He was walking around with an Alabama hat on the whole time. I told him to quit playing around and go ahead and make that decision. He wanted to sport that ‘A’ on his head; I told him to sport that ‘A’ on his heart.”

After all, Drake is sporting the “A” on his head.

BREAKING NEWS: Coffee County QB Will Gardner commits to Louisville over Alabama, Mississippi State and Southern Miss (click on story link)

RELATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING STORIES

  • There were some surprises when some of Georgia’s top prospects were clocked in the 40-yard dash at Nike camp (click on story link)
  • Who is the best dunker in Georgia history? State your case by going here
  • Which elite prospect was UGA’s head coach watching on the first day of the NCAA contact period? (click here for story)
  • An NCAA investigation is stalling one of Georgia’s top defensive ends (click here for story)
  • A Georgia football coach, who inspired many with his attitude toward a terminal illness, resigns (click here for story)
  • After attending Mark Richt camp, offensive lineman commits to SEC school (click here for story)
  • One of the state’s top DBs will pick between UGA, South Carolina and Vanderbilt — and sported a Gamecocks baseball cap at football camp on Monday (click here for story)
  • Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern fans in an epic message board war right here
  • Georgia’s “fastest football recruit” (click here for story)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

CLICK HERE to catch up on ALL of the LATEST RECRUITING NEWS

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC

218 comments Add your comment

Phil

July 11th, 2011
11:45 am

I think that A stands for something besides Alabama.

Proud-Dawg

July 11th, 2011
11:46 am

Keith Marshall, that’s the only RB UGA should focus on

Dawginit.

July 11th, 2011
11:52 am

He’s good but I don’t think I’d put him in the elite category just yet.

Nick@Nite

July 11th, 2011
11:53 am

Beast from the East

July 11th, 2011
11:59 am

Even though he’s going to the competition, it’s nice to see a kid make a decision and stick with it. Too many “commit” early and are still looking for other options. Best of luck, except when you face the Gators!

VA DAWG

July 11th, 2011
12:04 pm

Good luck to the kid, he should go where his heart is and he’s doing so. We’ll be fine…Richt will get a couple of RB’s (one HS and one JUCO) and so will other schools. No hard feelings, except when playing the DAWGS! GO DAWGS!

Saban

July 11th, 2011
12:05 pm

Another escapee from the sinking good ship dawg.

Paddy

July 11th, 2011
12:08 pm

Good luck and stand by your decision.

Haters anyone?

July 11th, 2011
12:23 pm

Dang boys… Just b/c he snubbed uga, you don’t have to all be such sore losers.

Michael Carvell

July 11th, 2011
12:24 pm

Again, we appreciate your comments and opinions and please continue posting them. However, personal and unfounded attacks on a kid simply because he did not pick your favorite school will not be tolerated. Thanks.

poopdawg

July 11th, 2011
12:26 pm

Congrats to mr. Drake and good luck.

Mr.Football

July 11th, 2011
12:29 pm

Drake is an elite RB and the best RB in the state of Ga out of the 2012 class!! Quit hating!!

Really?

July 11th, 2011
12:30 pm

UGA never made a real offer, they asked him if he’d like to see the campus and be evaluated. He wouldn’t get playing time till he’s a senior and if when the kid from NC commits to UGA, he would be a career backup.

Dawg 1

July 11th, 2011
12:32 pm

Slow day… So slow that the headline made it seem as if UGA was begging the kid to come up. He was asked to come up – basically said ‘no’ and hasn’t heard back from UGA. They are taking him at his word.

Congrats to the kid – Congrats to Alabama (for the 2nd time) – let’s move on…

You hooked me to look MC – but too many of these and I’ll simply quit looking.

Bernie Matt

July 11th, 2011
12:33 pm

I coached this kid when he was a JFK Rattler at age 8, he was on the same team as Zach Witchett, remember that name? Drake is a good kid from a good home just ask anybody at Hillgrove. He doesn’t owe UGA anymore than UGA owed Witchett. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!

waitnsee

July 11th, 2011
12:37 pm

Makes you ask why many of UGA’s top HS players leave the state yet UGA occasionally convinces other border states top players to leave their home and play for UGA? AL is loaded w/good, young RB’s like this kid and competition will be tough, yet at UGA they’re thin at RB w/king and ealey leaving. He would have a better chance at playing for UGA but that doesn’t appear to be the determining factor for decision to go to AL or other competition. What makes these other schools more attractive ? I believe its the coaching situation at UGA and the apparent turmoil w/players leaving.

in spite of a good recruiting class at UGA its unsettling when UGA losses more than wins in getting top players in your state and border states to play at UGA. Makes you wonder.

anijahsdad

July 11th, 2011
12:39 pm

@ Really?

UGA did offer Kenyan. How do you know how a kid is going to play in college? You mention the kid from N Carolina. Caleb King had the same hype coming out of high school. How did that turn out?

anijahsdad

July 11th, 2011
12:45 pm

@ Dawginit

Nick Saban said he was elite.

Say It Aint So

July 11th, 2011
12:52 pm

Looking at the Nike Sparq results, a 4.66 40 is not overwhelming. Nothing here. Move along.

Just sayin

July 11th, 2011
1:00 pm

Dawginit. Who seems a better judge of talent and getting the most out of that talent; Saban or the suntanned Helen Hunt look-a-like HC?

Greg

July 11th, 2011
1:05 pm

Every time a Georgia kid commits or signs with another school, the rival fans come out of the woodwork with comments like waitnsee above. UGA can’t sign all of the elite prospects in Georgia, but they will always get more than their fair share. Look no further than last year when they finished with a losing record and still signed 8 of the top 12.

The reality is that all of the negative recruiting against UGA is going to have a greater impact if UGA has another substandard season. Coaching staffs and fan bases at places like Bama, Auburn, S Car, Tenn and Clemson want UGA to fail more than any other school because a weak UGA gives them much more hopein terms of attracting the elite Georgia high school players.

As for this kid, he’s obviously a quality player and UGA needs more depth at the RB position. Could he have beaten out Crowell or Marshall(if we sign him)? I doubt it, but we’ll never know. In hindsight, UK signed 3 top 50 players from Georgia last year and all were running backs around the same size. I doubt we offered any of them, but the coaches probably wish we had now with the recent attrition. We pass on some of those kids, but sign a little guy like Carlton Thomas out of FL? Makes no sense to me, but maybe Thomas will show us something we haven’t seen this season.

Aubie

July 11th, 2011
1:08 pm

Proud Dog:

Sorry, but Keith Marshall is going to Auburn. Mark that down today.

tide roll

July 11th, 2011
1:15 pm

Your Running Back is sitting right there under your nose. 6′2″230 lb. blaster. 43 td(s) in two years while PLAYING BOTH WAYS. 80 yrd TD run vs. Ark. as a Soph. Bobo is killing you with his play calling and these personel decisions. Why can’t you guys wise up, and see what the hell is going on. Your offensive coordinator is a walking, talking, play calling conflict of interest.

Dawginit

July 11th, 2011
1:27 pm

Is he the next Lattimore, Richardson, Dyer, or James? Not even close. He’s a good player but he’s not elite. Would I like to see him at UGA? Absolutely, but he’s not the best of the best which would make him “elite”.

Michael Carvell

July 11th, 2011
1:28 pm

@Dawginit, imho Kenyan Drake is the best RB out of Georgia this year. Granted, this year is not as strong as other years with regards to state’s strong tradition of producing RB talent. But it’s still decent.

slydog

July 11th, 2011
1:31 pm

tide roll… as a die hard uga fan, you hit the head on the nail.. regardless of what CMR says, bobo is the probably the 7th or 8th best OC in his own conference. UGA SHOULD NOT HAVE 7th or 8th of anything. those who follow, please save your statistics because it cant beat this: Dan Mullen, Charlie Weis, Bobby Petrino, Steve Kragthorpe, Gus Malzahn, Spurrier, maybe a tie with McElwain (at least he has the NC ring). lets stop tracking these recruits because none of them are playing in 54 days. This season is put up (SEC Champs AND beat UF) or shut up as far as I’m concerned.

slydog

July 11th, 2011
1:37 pm

it’s simple: these kids want to win and get to the NFL. Hardly anyone is doing that better than Alabama or Auburn right now. Get ready cause the two you hate the most is coming to athens next year: Either Mullen or Meyer. Forget Petrino; Arkansas made him sign an 18.5 mil buyout because they knew he would take this job if it was open. I’m sorry but I have lost all confidence in CMR’s coaching and recruitng abilities

Dawginit

July 11th, 2011
1:41 pm

Aubie, you guys aren’t even in Marshell’s top 3.

Dawginit

July 11th, 2011
1:44 pm

slydog, CMR and company pulled a top ten class last year and you have lost faith in their ability to recruit?

bigtime

July 11th, 2011
1:47 pm

Roll Tide Kenyan Drake. I can’t think of a running back in this class that I would want more than Kenyan. Keep on doubting this kid you bunch of whiney UGA fans. Afterall, isn’t that what all of you do best? It sure isn’t playing football and I’m glad that Kenyan realizes that. So Dawg fans, I’ll make a deal with you; you keep on whining and crying and Bama will keep on winning, OK? I used to have respect for UGA until I found out that the entire fanbase was made of menstruating females. See ya in Atlanta Dawgs, we’ll be playing and you’ll be watching.

bigtime

July 11th, 2011
1:47 pm

anijahsdad

July 11th, 2011
1:57 pm

@ Say It Aint So

Kenyan ran a 4.52 40 @ The Opening in Oregon. Nothing here. Move along.

@ Dawginit

That’s your opinion. Kid hasn’t played his senior year of high school. Saban says come play for me at Bama. That means he is elite. Your opinion is doesn’t matter.

Stinger2

July 11th, 2011
2:00 pm

This kid has the “A” on the back of his head now. So be it. He cannot sign until February. How many kids change their mind these days. Anyway, UGA has Crowell.

ATL Sports Fan

July 11th, 2011
2:04 pm

Tide Roll, your a moron. Richard Samuel asked to be moved to linebacker. Your amazing with all the stuff you bring up. Guess I should come to expect that from a noted RACIST!

anijahsdad

July 11th, 2011
2:07 pm

@ Greg

What makes you think the Drake kid couldn’t beat out Crowell or the Marshall kid? Have you seen either one play at the college level? No you haven’t. Just another opinion with nothing to back it up. When ever you guys want to try and project what you think a so called highly ranked kid is going to do, take a look back at Caleb King What I’m saying is it is a crap shoot trying to predict what these kids are going to do in college. Most are playing against average at best competition.

Dawginit

July 11th, 2011
2:10 pm

anijahdad, your opinion of elite differs from mine. I have the kid play several times. I just don’t think he’s better than some other backs in this class.

Alabama Facts

July 11th, 2011
2:10 pm

When you think of Alabama what comes to your mind?… Hmmmmmmmm

1. #1 Wal-Mart chains in America
2. Weak Economy(thives off Georgia’s economy)
3. Zero professional teams
4. Poor education system

Let’e hear it Dawg Fans

Honolulu Dawg

July 11th, 2011
2:14 pm

Alabama Facts, hahahahah. Yes you are correct sir. I can’t name one thing to do in Alabama beside hearing people talk about football. They don’t have a life outside of football. Sad I tell ya.

Deployed Iraq Dawg

July 11th, 2011
2:19 pm

Guys like Saban, bigtime, and roll tide have nothing better to say or do. They love to trash UGA. Don’t worry dawg fans. Win and the trolls will vanish. Let there team lose and they go into hibernation mode until they start winning again. Kinda of like Dallas Cowboy fans.

puppydawg

July 11th, 2011
2:25 pm

With an OC that disdains the run, I’m surprised that any RB gives consideration to UGA. It’s the same reason WRs and QBs don’t want to go to GT. It would be a waste of their time and talent.

RUN DMC

July 11th, 2011
2:30 pm

Slydog, Petrino, hired at UGA? After what he did to the Falcons…You must be crazy.

Don't like GA, STAY OUT!

July 11th, 2011
2:32 pm

Don’t they still have some organization in Alabama with three letters that starts with a K?

Whoa Nellie

July 11th, 2011
2:37 pm

Alabama Facts: Let me help you out..

1. How is AL #1 in Wal-Marts-Define the category; GA has more Wal-Mart locations than AL.
2. Weak Economy-Yep, what state does not have economic issues-Explain thrives off of GA economy. Actually Georgia benefits from AL residents: Tax dollars spent-AL residents enjoy going to the ATL., They buy Lottery tickets and many residents in East AL work in GA adding to tax base.
3. Zero Professional teams-Ummmm, The State of AL has two (2)-Alabama and Auburn Football and unlike Georgia and the Falcons, we DO NOT have a Salary Cap, just ask Cecil Newton…
4. Poor Education system-Yep we stink there. Georgia has the lottery but still produces idiots like AL. The only problem with GA is that it has a higher population, therefore, producing more idiots.

Hope this helps…

Hunker Down

July 11th, 2011
2:44 pm

Being a huge Dawg fan I gotta say this kid is very inspiring to me. Shows lots of maturity and wish other recruits would take his lead. Too many wishy washy guys out there that commit to a school and then still do visits and say they are a soft commitment. Like being engaged but wanting to date other girls to me. I like that the kid saw what he wanted and jumped on board. Kuddos and good luck to you young man. Stay healthy.

Theo

July 11th, 2011
2:47 pm

I’m thinking he didn’t wasn’t impressed with the only thing UGA won last year, the Fulmer Cup.

Dawginit

July 11th, 2011
2:48 pm

puppydawg, do you even watch UGA games? They run the ball morre than they throw it. And maybe you forgot about Knowshon, Musa, Brown and all the other backs they’ve put in the NFL. If you’re gonna troll at least be good at it.

nash

July 11th, 2011
2:56 pm

Congrats to the young man for landing a D1 scholly especially at Bama but the real loser is Tech because both his brothers play for the jackets. Don’t count Paul Johnson out yet the flats could start looking good to the young man in Nov.

Theo

July 11th, 2011
2:57 pm

With the offensive line at UGA he might get tired of getting plowed over every play. Plus, he has seen former top recruit Caleb King and Ealey have nothing but academic and criminal issues since arriving at UGA.. Can’t blame the guy for going out of state.

JB

July 11th, 2011
2:59 pm

RB #8 For the Tide. That will give them 17. Drake. Good for you. Go to Bammer. No hard feelings. hope you end up in the pros. Go Dawgs.

Alabama Facts

July 11th, 2011
3:00 pm

Whoa Nellie, I call it like I see it.

“Weak Economy-Yep, what state does not have economic issues-Explain thrives off of GA economy. Actually Georgia benefits from AL residents: Tax dollars spent-AL residents enjoy going to the ATL., They buy Lottery tickets and many residents in East AL work in GA adding to tax base.”

… So that explains why so many of you guys move to Georgia and spend all your time and money in our state. You folks obviously love our state. Better opportunity!

“Zero Professional teams-Ummmm, The State of AL has two (2)-Alabama and Auburn Football and unlike Georgia and the Falcons, we DO NOT have a Salary Cap, just ask Cecil Newton…”

…like I said you guys have ZERO professioanl teams.The NCAA is an amateur leauge.

“Poor Education system-Yep we stink there. Georgia has the lottery but still produces idiots like AL. The only problem with GA is that it has a higher population, therefore, producing more idiots.”

… So if we have a bunch of idiots then why do you guys continue to recruit our great state? Is there any talent in Alabama??