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January 28, 2011

Drew's recruitment comes to close

MORE NOTES: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Full NSD coverage

Legendary Georgia defensive end David Pollack - in attendance for Ray Drew's college announcement on Friday morning - revealed that Drew will wear No. 47 for the Bulldogs, the number that Pollack made famous as a three-time All-American.

A bit unusual? Sure.

But that's been the Ray Drew recruitment through the entire process.

Drew, the state of Georgia's best player and the nation's ninth-ranked player, chose the Bulldogs over Auburn, LSU, Clemson and Miami. The Thomas County Central five-star defensive end, a 6-foot-5, 250-pounder, made it official Friday morning.

"Thank you, God bless and Go Dawgs!" said Drew in announcing his intentions. The conference room hosting his speech then burst into applause.

Drew, who said he will play outside linebacker in the current 3-4 defensive scheme, has been a source of intrigue because he seemed to enjoy taking media and fans down different directions. The soon-to-be ordained minister with an outgoing personality addressed his sometimes bizarre recruitment.

"I'll tell you that I'm not going to a game on a given weekend, but then I may just end up at Notre Dame the next day; that's just me," Drew said. "I don't like to be predictable. I just like to do my own thing and to keep people thinking, keep 'em guessing."

Cal lands big one

California might have had a disappointing season but the Golden Bears are doing another outstanding job on the recruiting trail. They added a big piece Thursday when four-star cornerback Stefan McClure committed.

The Vista (Calif.) standout shined at the recent U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He picked Cal over UCLA, Boise State, Michigan and Oregon State.

McClure told Rivals.com at the Army game that Cal and Boise State had moved to the front for his services but then Michigan got involved. Many believed the Wolverines could steal him, especially since he had developed a relationship with new coach Brady Hoke, formerly of San Diego State.

More recruiting notes

Asheville (N.C.) defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and Clemson have parted ways, leaving Georgia and Alabama as the two finalists for the Rivals100 standout. Pagan originally committed to Florida earlier in the process then had second thoughts about the distance from home.

Roughly 12 days ago, Pagan committed to Clemson following an official visit. However, just a week later he was taking an unexpected official visit to Alabama and having second thoughts about his pledge to the Tigers. On Thursday, Clemson coaches met with Pagan and the two parties decided to part ways. Georgia, which received an official visit in December, is the team to beat over Alabama. A decision is expected on Signing Day.

Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio talked about his recent official visit to Iowa last weekend and said things went well. He was hosted by friend and former teammate, Marcus Coker, and saw video on former Iowa top offensive linemen Robert Gallery and Bryan Bulaga.

Kouandjio had previously visited New Mexico and Alabama and will visit Auburn this weekend before making his decision on Signing Day at his school. Auburn coaches came to see Kouandjio earlier this week, New Mexico was in on Wednesday and Alabama coaches were in his home Thursday night. Iowa was also in on Thursday.

Richmond (Va.) Hermitage linebacker Curtis Grant hosted coaches from all four of his finalists this week, including in-home visits from Virginia head coach Mike London on Monday, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel on Tuesday and North Carolina head coach Butch Davis on Wednesday.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp did his in-home visit last week, but the Gators did send three different coaches to see Grant at his home on Wednesday as well. Grant has his final official visit set for North Carolina this weekend and will make his decision between his four favorites on Signing Day. Wednesday was the first time Grant met new Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and he said he was impressed.

Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic defensive tackle Marquise Wright has narrowed his focus exclusively to Michigan State and Rutgers. The Spartans stopped by to visit him on Wednesday and Rutgers came by on Thursday. Those were probably the last visits for each school prior to Wright's decision, which he will announce on National Signing Day. While he isn't ready to publicly acknowledge one of the schools as his leader, he admits he knows where he wants to go.

The recruitment of Jesup (Ga.) Wayne County three-star lineman Tre Jackson took a strange twist Thursday. Jackson, who had been committed to Georgia Tech, was dropped by the Yellow Jackets. The reason? Apparently Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was not too thrilled that Jackson failed to inform his staff he planned to visit Florida State this weekend. Georgia Tech was recruiting Jackson to play on the defensive line. The Seminoles, who offered earlier in the week along with Miami, like him on the offensive line.

The pursuit of Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian four-star defensive end Jermauria Rasco has hit the homestretch, and where he lands is still anyone's guess. LSU is considered the front-runner, but Rasco had an in-home with Texas on Thursday night and is expected to arrive in Gainesville, Fla., on Friday to check out the Gators. Muschamp has been a regular at Evangel Christian in recent weeks. Florida has had success at that school before. In 2000, the Gators landed prized Evangel Christian quarterback Brock Berlin.

Lamar De Rego committed to Oregon State a few weeks after his visit in December but then the San Jose (Calif.) San Jose C.C. defensive end took a trip to Arizona, which got him thinking. Weeks later and after much deliberation, De Rego has decided to switch his commitment to the Wildcats. It was a tough decision for the 6-foot-3, 252-pound prospect but one he felt he had to make.

"When I went up there to Arizona I felt really comfortable and I enjoyed myself," De Rego said. "Not only because of the recruiting trip but I enjoyed the fact that I met some people at the school who would help me out, take care of me, they answered all my questions."

Michigan made a strong push for Ryan Nowicki recently and there was a chance the three-star offensive tackle from Glendale (Ariz.) Cactus would visit Ann Arbor this weekend, but as of Thursday afternoon the 6-foot-5, 272-pound decided against taking a trip.

According to Glendale Cactus coach Larry Fetkenhier, Nowicki called Michigan coach Brady Hoke and informed him that he wouldn't be visiting, and that bodes well for Penn State.

Michael Eubank was supposed to visit Vanderbilt or Tulsa this weekend but in an unexpected twist the four-star dual-threat quarterback from Corona (Calif.) Centennial will take a trip to Pittsburgh on the final weekend before National Signing Day.

The Panthers' recruiting class does not have a quarterback and that could be important for Eubank, a 6-foot-5, 232-pound prospect who is verbally committed to Arizona State but visited Utah last weekend and is taking a cross-country trek to Pittsburgh to check it out.

From all accounts, Brenham (Texas) three-star defensive end Brandon Alexander had a good meeting with Texas head coach Mack Brown this week. While some expected him to pull the trigger on a commitment to the Longhorns at that time, it did not happen.

Texas is still considered the leader but the 6-foot-6, 230-pound defender surprised just about everybody by taking a midweek official visit to Baylor on Thursday. He has already used officials to visit Texas A&M, TCU and Texas and will use his fifth and final one this weekend to Arkansas.

A one-time Auburn commit has a new team involved. Cullman (Ala.) three-star offensive guard Spencer Region will make a relatively unexpected official visit to Clemson this weekend. He recently visited Louisville, and it's now looking as if his final pick will be either the Cardinals or the Tigers.

Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter 2012 cornerback Niles Clark told Rivals.com he has committed to N.C. State over Georgia Tech. What's unknown at this point is whether N.C. State has accepted his commitment.



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