November 6, 2011

Drake takes in first Bama game

Georgia running back Kenyan Drake committed to the University of Alabama in February, and there's no doubt he's Crimson Tide all the way, but the 2012 commitment had never been to a game at Bryant-Denny Stadium before Saturday.

Despite the outcome, the 'game of the century' between Alabama and LSU wasn't a bad first game to attend.

"I didn't really set any expectations because I had never been to an Alabama game before," Drake said. "I had been to other college games, so I tried to go off of that. It really exceeded any expectations because the atmosphere was crazy. Being on the sideline, in that stadium with over 100,000 people, it was pretty crazy. There are only a couple of places in the whole country where you can experience that type of atmosphere."

Drake arrived in Tuscaloosa later than expected on Saturday, but he still got a chance to go out on the field before the game with the other recruits where he was recognized by the Crimson Tide fan base.

"That was really cool," Drake said. "Since I've committed and with the success I've had this season, I've kind of made a name for myself in a sense, and people recognized my name on my pass that I had. Fans came up to say hello to me and 'roll tide', so it was pretty exciting.

"On the sideline, I saw pretty much every Georgia recruit and commit that I know: Geno Smith, Justin Taylor, Brandon Greene, Jordan Jenkins and Dillon Lee."

It was also the first time since the spring that Drake had seen Alabama assistant coach Kirby Smart, his primary recruiter, and the rest of the UA coaching staff.

"I finally got to see Coach Smart because I haven't seen him since spring practice," Drake said. "He was really pumped to see me there. I was just really pumped to be there. Seeing the team warm up and how excited the crowd got when they came out was really fun.

"(Smart) was saying that he was glad to see me finally make it up to a game. I told him that I was really happy to be here, especially for this one. I wouldn't miss it for the world."

After the game, Drake met with Coach Smart, top 2012 target Jordan Jenkins and Jenkins' father. Drake said that Jenkins seemed to be enjoying himself on his visit, and the group talked about the idea of the two possibly living together next year if Jenkins were to pick Alabama.

"Coach Smart was saying our personalities are carbon copies of each other, especially when we're talking on the phone," Drake said. "He was saying it would be cool if we were roommates.

"We've had conversations before, and he's a cool kid. I definitely feel like he has the same type of upbringing I've had, the same type of values. I feel like we would get along pretty well."

Drake said he didn't talk much about recruiting with Jenkins but that he hopes the Rivals100 defensive end will choose the Crimson Tide.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.





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