The Crimson Tide has made it a high priority to recruit the state of Georgia in the past and the 2012 class is no different. After missing out on several high-profile recruits last season like the University of Georgia’s leading rusher Isaiah Crowell and their leading receiver Malcolm Mitchell, the Tide decided to turn up their recruiting efforts even greater.
As a result, the Tide was able to get a verbal commit from running back/athlete Kenyan Drake back in February.
With the pressure of deciding where he would attend college completed, Drake was able to concentrate on his play on the field more and the results were outstanding.
Drake rushed for 1,610 yards on 173 carries and scored 18 rushing touchdowns. Drake was also effective in the receiving game, hauling in 24 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns. Hillgrove also used him sporadically on special teams where he returned 10 kickoffs for 355 yards and two touchdowns.
If your keeping count, that is 2,280 total yards and 25 touchdowns.
Because of his solid play on the football field, Drake was named the 2011 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Georgia.
The most recent recipients include Tennessee safety Brian Randolph, Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason, defensive back/running back Branden Smith and wide receiver Tavarres King.
Drake is an intriguing prospect because he has the ability to play several positions. His most likely destination will be running back, safety or possibly wide receiver. He is not a running back that excels at making cuts or making defenders miss but he does a great job of at running downhill. He is not flashy but he can be a solid one-cut-and-go back on the collegiate level.
Drake is 6’1'' and 195 pounds and will need to get at least to the 215-pound mark to reach his full potential at running back but he has the frame to achieve this.
While I am not sure where he will end up, I like him at safety best. He has tremendous ball skills and seems to always put himself in the best possible position. His awareness and ability to see the field could make him an elite safety.
There is also the possibility he could end up at wide receiver. This is unlikely but he has good size for the position and the best hands of any running back in the 2012 class. He also accelerates off of the line with a great initial burst. He would be a very raw route runner but his 38-inch vertical could come in handy in the red zone.
Although the Crimson Tide is getting a tremendous athlete, they are getting a better person. He is a good student and a great leader on and off the field. He is one of the rare athletes whose leadership skills show up on game film.
Congratulations, Mr. Drake, and congratulations, Tide fans—you have a future star.