ATHENS, Ga. — Sacking a quarterback is like catching a fish to Ray Drew.
“You can go out and you can sit and you can have the bait in the water all day long, but you just waiting on that first bite,” Georgia’s defensive end said. “After you get over that first bite hump, you’re feeling good. It’s time to go now.”
The 6-foot-5, 276-pound junior’s first bite this season came on LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. It resulted in a 9-yard loss and forced a second-quarter punt by the Tigers.
“You catch one and you want to catch some more,” Drew said.
Drew, who has started four of six games this season, has been baiting well and now leads the team with five sacks. He also has eight quarterback hurries and a pass break-up.
Georgia coach Mark Richt called Drew’s recent surge “a little bit of a surprise.”
“But now that the light came on – or however you want to say it – he’s really playing well,” Richt said. “I like his attitude.”
Drew said his first two years at Georgia were informative – he learned to take care of the little things and “the big things take care of themselves. He learned to be more patient and stop chasing – let the fish find your line and chomp down.
“You could chase the dream, but sometimes you just have to let the dream come to you,” Drew said.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said once the dust settled around Drew’s early hype out of high school, his maturity level increased. That has led to opportunities on the field.
“The guy keeps working and grinding and understands what he’s got to do to play at this level and he now knows what to do and he’s having a lot of success,” Grantham said.
Though the Bulldogs have been using a consistent rotation of players in the trenches, Richt said Drew is an every-down player for Georgia.
More opportunities for Drew to cast a line and see what comes. No cutting bait.
“You just have to stay in your lane, stay focused on what you need to do and just continue to try to get better,” he said.