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November 14, 2010Thomas County (Ga.) Central's Ray Drew, the nation's No. 1 weakside defensive end prospect, had never been to a game inside Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium. Not until Saturday.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pound four-star picked a good one to make his first.
Drew was among six official visitors in the crowd Saturday to watch as the Tigers came from behind and won going away 49-31 against his home-state Bulldogs.
"I was very pleased, very satisfied," said Drew. "I really enjoyed myself. The visit went very good. The game was great."
Drew saw Auburn's pregame Tiger Walk Saturday. He saw the pregame flight of the eagle. The atmosphere before, during and after the game was "incredible".
"Auburn's fans are crazy. The fans are wild. They are very passionate about their football," he said. "When things are not looking so good, and when they are looking good, they are the same. From my understanding, the tailgaters had been there since Wednesday or Thursday, and they really lived it up. I met some great people, tailgated with some great fans. I had a really good time.
"Tiger Walk was outrageous. Fans were lined up hours ahead of time just to get a quick glance at the team as they are coming in, maybe a look at the players for no more than a few seconds, but they stand there for hours just for that. And the eagle, hearing about it and watching it on T.V. fly around the stadium is completely different as far as the feeling you get when you see it in person. That was a great experience."
Drew arrived in Auburn late Friday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon. He met with academic advisors, toured the campus and facilities and spoke in-depth with the Tigers' coaches.
Drew spent the better part of Sunday meeting with defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, defensive coordinator Ted Roof, assistant head coach/receivers coach Trooper Taylor and the head man himself Gene Chizik.
"What you see with the coaches is what you get," said Drew. "Nothing ever changes with those guys. You're still going to have the same crazy, wild, high-energy Trooper Taylor. You're going to have the very down-to-earth and real Gene Chizik.
"You're also going to have the very personable Coach Rocker, the kind of coach you can go talk to about anything. He's always going to be straight with you. I really like the coaches."
Drew said Chizik's staff is a big reason he has high interest in the Tigers. With offers from the majority of top programs around the country, Drew can be selective when choosing which five to take official visits to. Choosing Auburn as one wasn't difficult.
"I haven't seen anything negative out of them," he said. "Auburn is doing a great job with me. I really like Auburn."
The Tigers will be among his favorites until he decides on which college to attend, something he doesn't plan to do anytime soon.
"Auburn is standing pretty strong with me," he said. "I'm still in the evaluation period, still looking around and making sure everything is in order. But I like Auburn. Auburn is a school I like a lot."