December 13, 2010

Drew talks about trip to Athens

Ray Drew laughed that he appreciated the time head coach Mark Richt took to take him fishing Saturday morning while in Athens for his weekend visit with the Bulldogs.

He just wishes the temperatures hadn't been quite so cold.

"The weather was below freezing, the fish were asleep and we caught a cold," chuckled Drew, who spoke with UGASports by phone from New York City, where he's touring with 15 other top players in town for the prestigious U.S. Army Player of the Year Award ceremony.

But Drew wasn't complaining.

Although the fish weren't biting, everything else about his visit to Georgia - including Saturday night's Senior Gala - was an experience the state's top-ranked player is happy he took in.

"It went well. It was a good experience that you don't get to see every day, just to see how well put together everything was. Everything was great, the people were very hospitable," Drew said. "It was just a great weekend."

Drew offered a tip of the cap to the Bulldog fans he encountered, not only during his time in Athens but at the Gala as well.

"It was more of a laid-back feeling. I didn't get bombarded by people while I was there, like I do at a lot of schools where it's like "Hey Ray, hey Ray, can you sign this, will you come to our school?'" Drew said. "That gets old sometimes. They knew who I was, but I didn't get a lot of 'You've got to come to UGA,' things like that. It was fun. We (the recruits) actually got a chance to enjoy ourselves."

It was also an opportunity for Drew to renew old acquaintances with Bulldog commitments Christian LeMay and Chris Conley.

"Everything was just as I expected," Drew said. "It was a great chance to fellowship with the guys, and with some that I didn't know, to put a face with a name. I had a great time."

So what's next for Drew?

UGASports was the first to reveal Drew's top six schools (in no order) - Georgia, Clemson, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and LSU - although one of those finalists might be slipping just a tad.

"Everybody's still pretty even with schools like Georgia, Clemson Auburn, LSU and Tennessee," Drew said. "Florida was in there, but with Coach (Urban) Meyer leaving, I don't know. I know Florida is still Florida, but we will just have to say what's good for me."

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Drew will announce his decision on Signing Day.

Meanwhile, Drew will enjoy his first trip to the Big Apple, including the Awards Banquet Tuesday night to announce the Player of the Year.

"The entire experience with the U.S. Army Game has been very fulfilling and being here in New York has been great," Drew said. "It's amazing. In my city (Thomasville) we have one caution light and just three or four traffic lights, so this is different. It's crazy. Going from Thomasville to New York City is pretty big."

While that might be true, if Drew thought he could go to New York City and not be recognized, he was wrong.

As Drew and some of his fellow honorees were walking along Fifth Avenue, he heard someone call his name.

"We were walking down 5th Avenue and this guy was yelling, 'Drew, Drew.' I thought he was talking to this other kid, because I knew nobody knew me in New York City," Drew said. "But he asked if I was Ray Drew. I told him yes, and turns out the guy was from Thomasville, my hometown. I thought that was funny, come all the way to New York and see somebody from my hometown. It was pretty amazing."


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