National Signing Day 2011: What Ray Drew's Decision Means for Georgia Bulldogs

Will BrownContributor IJanuary 28, 2011

Ray Drew, a five-star defensive end from Thomasville, GA, committed earlier today to the University of Georgia.

Drew has been considered a key piece to the “Dream Team” that Mark Richt is looking for. The “Dream Team” is consisted of a select group of high-profile and highly-talented players from the state of Georgia. Some of have decided to play elsewhere, but some key players are either already committed to Georgia, or are still deciding between Georgia and other teams, such as Isaiah Crowell. Drew's commitment may be a key factor in Crowell’s final decision

Here is a list of five things that this commitment means for the Georgia Bulldogs.

5. The next Justin Houston?

Drew has similar talents to last year’s breakout star for the Bulldogs. Both have great size(Drew at 6’5” 245 pounds) and are known for their pass rushing abilities, as Houston is a projected first round draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

Like Drew, Houston was a defensive end coming out of college, but made the switch to outside linebacker when Georgia switched from the 4-3 scheme to the 3-4 scheme we are currently running.

If Drew can pick up the scheme quickly, if he isn’t starting he should at least be able to help in those third and long where you can expect the offense to be passing.

4. They get a versatile player

Drew played defensive end in high school, so even if he does move to outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme, there is still a great chance that he will be play at defensive end some over the course of his career. His main comparison for me, Houston, went along the same lines and played both positions last year according to how Georgia lined up.

3. It shows that Georgia can turn it around

Even though most SEC fans around the league are taking shots at what has happened to the Georgia team the last two years, Drew’s commitment shows that Richt and the staff can still get the job done.

Richt has closed strong on this year’s class and still may have a few tricks up his sleeve, and it may save his job. Fans have been very disgruntled with the team’s most recent performances, but if Richt can take this year’s class along with the returning talent and improve from last year then he will gain the majority of his supporters back.

2. Drew gives the linebackers group a lift

This position has taken quite a hit this offseason, as Akeem Dent graduated and Houston decided to leave a year early. Some scouts think that Drew projects to play as an outside linebacker in our defensive scheme, so his pickup has become very important.

He joins prior commitments Amarlo Herrera, Ramik Wilson, and Quintavious Harrow to bolster the unit in the upcoming years.

1.Dream Team Still Alive

Drew is the top player thus far in this year’s class, but he joins a great group of players already. Crowell, perhaps this year’s top runningback, is now the main missing link when it comes to the “Dream Team” that so many Georgia fans want.

Drew and Crowell have become great friends through this process and some of the thoughts from scouts were that they would go wherever the other one decided to go, basically being a package deal. Georgia fans would be very excited if that were to come true.

Just a few weeks ago, as this past season was coming to its terrible end, Richt and his fans didn’t know what to expect from this year’s class. Most are pleased now.