January 27, 2010

Drake talks about change of heart

For Tony Drake, a lack of communication from the coaching staff in Ann Arbor led to his re-opening his recruitment. It was an opportunity the Colorado State coaching staff took advantage of to land what Drake said they are calling their own version of Reggie Bush.

"When I told the Colorado State coaches I was committing, they said they are ready to use me as a Reggie Bush-type," Drake said. "They want to get me into open space, find mismatches."

As a junior Drake ran for 429 yards and three touchdowns. Last season, he paced Skyline with 1,373 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, averaging 8.6 yards per carry. He also caught 12 passes for 119 yards and another score. He was named Second Team All-District last season for his efforts.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Drake committed to Michigan last March, but said the communication between himself and the Michigan coaches deteriorated, something he blames on the fact his recruiting contact at Michigan left the staff.

"It was a lack of relationship between the player and the coaches in terms of talking about how they wanted me to perform at their school and what they wanted me to play," Drake said. "The coach who was recruiting me left and I didn't hear from them (Michigan), so I thought I would re-open my recruiting process."

Drake was in Fort Collins last weekend and said he enjoyed the mountains as well as a Fort Collins landmark.

"I loved the mountains, but what really got me was when I was at the pressbox in the stadium and I looked over and saw the big, 'A,' on the mountain. I figured there had to be a story to that and they told me about the way they used to be the Aggies," he said.

"About two days after I came back home, I called the coaches to commit and they said they were fired up and ready to do some Reggie Bush-type things with me," Drake said.

Among those "Reggie Bush-type," of things the CSU coaches told Drake about was putting him in the slot and letting him run from the "I," formation and running zone plays, as he did at Skyline. He added that he wasn't concerned about the depth chart at Colorado State, which returns two running backs with starting experience (Leonard Mason, Jon Mosure) along with another who saw extended playing time last season (Lou Greenwood) and UCLA transfer Raymond Carter.

"I'm not intimidated," Drake said of the depth chart.

Drake's commitment is the second commitment the Rams have received in the last week from a young man who had previously committed to a Big Ten school. Earlier this week, John Froland decommitted from Northwestern to attend Colorado State.

Drake said he settled on his top three as Michigan, Utah and Colorado State. He said he shut down his recruitment to those three schools because the number of colleges calling got, "annoying." He added that is also no longer taking calls from college coaches.

"I felt like I should limit my choices," he said.
Academically, Drake said he took the SAT two weeks ago and has not yet received his scores. He said if he didn't qualify the first time, he will continue to re-take the test until he does.

"I'll just keep taking the test if I need to, because I feel like Colorado State and the coaches are behind my back," he said.

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