The guy ordering a snow cone had a toothpick in his mouth, a cowboy hat on his head, wore a checkered shirt and a belt with a Georgia `G’ on it. It sure looked like Bulldogs signee Ray Drew.
Yes, it was in fact the highly-sought after 6-5, 257-pound pass rushing star from Thomas County Central.
He gave a hug to cornerback signee Damian Swann at the GHSA track and field championships in Jefferson earlier this month the day after Drew won the state discus title.
Later, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who tried to snag Drew for the Crimson Tide, walked by. Drew sought him out and the two shook hands and chatted.
Holding his blueberry and watermelon flavored icy treat, Drew took a few minutes to answer some questions.
Q: I know you were a Charlie Daniels fans. I saw you tweet about going to his concert a while ago, but you do dress a little bit like a cowboy.
A: A little bit, yeah. I’ve always been a fan.
Q: Where did you get your Georgia belt buckle?
A: Actually one of my friends, he’s a Georgia fan at the school. He’s going into the 11th grade. He got another one and he gave me his old one.
Q: When are you heading to Georgia?
A: I’m leaving on June 5.
Q: You are coming in to play outside linebacker, right?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What’s your mindset with rolling in? What are you hoping to get done this summer and heading into the preseason?
A: Just coming in and improving myself and letting the coaches know just because I’m a freshman doesn’t mean I’m going to come in and sit back. Every football player, if you ask them, they’d rather be on the football field than on the sideline any day. That’s really what I want to go in and do.
Drew had something else on his mind.
He had read comments from outside linebacker Cornelius Washington about not letting a rookie come in to take his job.
“I want to at least push him for it a little bit,” Drew said. “Let him work for it.”
Q: You and Isaiah Crowell are two of the highest profile freshmen on this team. What do you make of all the attention? Do you feel like you guys can contribute right away and help the program right away?
A: I feel like we can if we set our mind to it. …We’re no different than any other recruit from coming in any other class across the nation. You’ve got to come in, you’ve got to work, you’ve got to know your assignment like everyone else. Just because we’re the `Dream Team’ that everyone’s been saying, that’s just more hype from the fans than anyone. We’ve got to come in and prove ourselves like anyone else.
Q: How much do you talk to coach Grantham? Does he text you occasionally?
A: I’ve talked to Coach Grantham quite a good bit. He’s been trying to tell me some stuff I’m going to be doing as far as my position goes and what all he’s going to expect out of me. I’ve been trying to get a handle on that.
Q: Do you know what number you are going to wear?
Q: David Pollack said that’s good?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: The NCAA violations that came out of Pollack attending your commitment announcement (Georgia reported five secondary violations for Pollack and Randall Godfrey attending the ceremony). How did you take that?
A: Man, it wasn’t anything that we were trying to do that was underhanded. If we were trying to be underhanded, we sure weren’t being sneaky about it. We did it without the knowledge knowing it was a violation. If we had known it was a violation or anything we would not have done it. Now that it’s all said and done, now that I look back on it, I probably wouldn’t change anything about it because it came at a great time and we made a great statement for the Bulldog Nation and it opened up a lot of eyes.
Q: I talked to your high school coach before you announced where you were going. He said how fast you adjust will determine whether you can be an every down guy right away. Is that fair to say?
A: I like to set high expectations for myself anyway. Size-wise, I already have the size. It’s a matter of me coming in and working.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer