April 26, 2009

Drake excited to fulfill childhood dream

It's been four weeks since Dallas athlete Tony Drake committed to the Maize and Blue and he's still reveling in the knowledge he will one day wear the winged helmet. Drake's love for Michigan dates back to his early childhood …

"When I was a little kid, there was Desmond Howard and the Fab Five, and, of course, Charles Woodson," he said. "For some reason, I just always grew up a big fan and no matter what it took I'd find someway to see them on TV whenever I could.

"So when my coach asked me earlier this year what schools I was interested in I told him my first choice was Michigan. It was like a day later that an offer came and I didn't need to even think about it."

Fate. The 5-9, 170-pounder committed March 26, becoming (at the time) the seventh recruit to do so. He is listed as a running back by Rivals.com and rushed for 429 yards and three touchdowns on 55 carries (7.8 yards per carry) in 2008, but will most likely play slot receiver for the Wolverines. As a wideout, he made seven grabs for 73 yards last fall.

Drake's numbers may not be overwhelming but few recruits have to share opportunities with teammates as talented as his. This year, eight Skyline athletes have already been identified as Division-I prospects while six Skyline performers signed letters of intent in February, including Iowa State-bound tailback James White.

"We have a lot of depth at our school and the coaches always go into every game with a single goal - to win," Drake said. "I think I will have a much bigger role this season. Last year, I was always going back and forth for playing time but I'm not going to let anyone get in front of me this year."

Possessing outstanding speed, quickness and an ability to make people miss, Drake will mesh well with the spread offense currently employed at Michigan.

With his dream school a reality, Drake has told all other suitors to back off since committing and no one has bothered him. He looks forward to a summer visit to Ann Arbor to see Michigan in person for the first time.

"I've seen The Big House on TV and I want to see if it's really as big as it looks - I just can't wait," he said.

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