Following a recent trip to Virginia, the return flight home for Thomas County Central standout Ray Drew hit a snag when the plane he was scheduled to take was delayed in Charlotte until the following morning.
Not wanting to sit around the airport all night, Drew got out his phone and called up an acquaintance with whom he had become close friends - Georgia commitment Christian LeMay.
"I knew Christian lived near there, so I called my boy to see if he was in the Charlotte area," Drew said in a phone interview Tuesday morning with UGASports. "We talked and I asked him if he minded if I stayed there overnight. It wasn't anything that was planned; it just came out of nowhere."
Drew said he and LeMay had spoken many times before.
In fact, Drew along with Bulldog commit Christian Conley, have been in constant contact with LeMay, who announced recently that he will forgo his final year of high school football following his suspension by the Charlotte Mecklenberg School System.
"Christian's having a hard time now, and I've just been trying to be his buddy, along with (Conley)," Drew said. "We're just trying to help him anyway we can."
Drew said his message to LeMay has been simple:
"He just needs to stay positive and I told him I know what he's going through," Drew said. "People will talk even though they don't know what's going on; they will always make assumptions. I just told him not to let anybody hold him back, dictate what you're going to do and don't pay attention to the people who want to tear him down. "
Although LeMay has committed to the Bulldogs and plans to enroll in school come January, Drew said the two do not talk much about football or each player's respective plans.
"Nothing has been said about Georgia," Drew said. "This was more about meeting in person for the first time and putting a face with a name. Christian has a wonderful family, but other than that nothing was said about Georgia."
But that doesn't mean the Bulldogs aren't on Drew's mind.
Although Drew insists he does not have a final list, the talented defensive end revealed he will be making an unofficial visit to Georgia on Oct. 16 for the Bulldogs game against Vanderbilt.
Prior to that, he will take an official visit to LSU on Oct. 2 to check out the Tigers against Tennessee and plans to fly out to Los Angeles and UCLA on Dec. 5 to watch the Bruins play Southern Cal.
"Right now that's pretty much it," said Drew. "There are some others that could be set up, but right now that's all I have planned."
Drew said he remains in contact with former New York Giants star Michael Strahan. The two struck up a friendship over the telephone this summer and Drew said he talks to his mentor at least once a week.
There's also the matter of Thomas County Central's season-opener next week against cross-town rival Thomasville.
"This one's special. You think about all the great players who have played in this series, guys like Charlie Ward, and then I realize it's going to be my last time playing in this game," Drew said. "It's hard to believe. It's going to be something I'll never forget."
As for when he might make the decision football recruiters are waiting to hear, Drew said he's playing everything by ear.
"I have not made a decision yet," he said. "We're just going to see how everything plays out."
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