Defensive end Drew ready to step up for Dogs

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Georgia sophomore Ray Drew will get an opportunity to prove himself Saturday against Florida with defensive end Abry Jones out with an injury.

“I think he is (ready),” coach Mark Richt said. “He’s played some, just in a pecking order, and he hasn’t gotten many snaps.”

Drew, a highly-touted recruit from Thomasville, Ga., has seen a limited role this season behind Jones and several other talented linemen.

“Honestly, I think I’m ready,” Drew said of his opportunity. “I don’t doubt myself as a player. I don’t doubt my coaching staff. I know they’ve done everything they can. I’ve done everything I can.”

GRAD RATES: Georgia tied for sixth in the Southeastern Conference with a 69 percent graduation rate in football in the latest NCAA statistics, while Georgia Tech tied for last in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 55 percent.

South Carolina tied for last in the SEC with Arkansas at 55 percent, while Clemson tied for fifth in the ACC at 75 percent with North Carolina and Virginia Tech behind Boston College, Miami, Duke and Wake Forest.

The graduation success report released Thursday showed Georgia improved 4 percentage points from the previous year to rank behind Vanderbilt, Louisiana State, Alabama, Florida and Missouri in the SEC. Georgia Tech’s rate held steady, leaving the Yellow Jackets tied with Florida State at the bottom of the ACC.

ARRESTED: Former Louisiana State standouts Tyrann Mathieu and Jordan Jefferson were among four ex-players arrested Thursday after police found them with marijuana at Mathieu’s apartment, police said.

Lt. Don Kelly, a Baton Rouge Police spokesman, said officers were called to the apartment complex about 3:30 p.m. after receiving a complaint about a man forcing his way through the security gate at the complex.

Inside they found Jefferson and two other men – Karnell Hatcher and Derrick Bryant – as well as a marijuana grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana. Kelly said seven of the bags were found inside Bryant’s book bag.

Matheiu, 20, and Jefferson, 22, were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of simple possession of marijuana. Hatcher, 22, was booked with second-offense simple possession of marijuana and Bryant, 22, was booked with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Mathieu, a former Heisman Trophy finalist and cornerback known as the “Honey Badger,” was dismissed from the Tigers in August for failing a drug test but had enrolled as a student at the school following two weeks of rehab under the care of former NBA player John Lucas. He had talked about possibly returning to the team for the 2013 season with two seasons of eligibility. He is also eligible to apply for the NFL draft in April.

Jefferson, the Tigers’ former starting quarterback, had returned to Baton Rouge to finish his degree after playing with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He also was a free agent signee with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before joining the Alouettes.

Jefferson had been suspended in connection with a preseason bar fight near campus for the start of his senior season.

Lance Unglesby, Jefferson’s lawyer in the misdemeanor criminal case, said a discovery hearing in that matter is scheduled next week. His client has always maintained his innocence in the bar fight.

Unglesby said he had not yet been provided any details of Jefferson’s latest arrest, but stressed, “All individuals are presumed innocent and I look forward to the opportunity to examine the facts of this case to find out what really happened.”

It was not immediately known whether Mathieu, Hatcher or Bryant had lawyers.

A spokeswoman for the university did not immediately respond to messages left by telephone and email.

Hatcher was a linebacker for the Tigers and finished with 133 career tackles, 3.5 for a loss and two forced fumbles.

Bryant, a backup safety, finished with 28 tackles, 2.0 for a loss and one sack.

GRADUATION RATES

The NCAA’s four-year Graduation Success Rate in terms of percentages for the Top 25 teams currently ranked in The Associated Press college football poll:

1. Alabama 75

2. Oregon 64

3. Florida 75

4. Kansas State 58

5. Notre Dame 97

6. Louisiana State 77

7. Oregon State 60

8. Oklahoma 47

9. Ohio State 74

10. Southern Cal 57

11. Florida State 55

12. Georgia 69

13. Mississippi State 60

14. Clemson 75

15. Texas Tech 66

16. Louisville 63

17. South Carolina 55

18. Rutgers 91

19. Stanford 90

20. Michigan 69

21. Boise State 81

22. Texas A&M 69

23. Ohio 74

24. Louisiana Tech 73

25. West Virginia 79

NR Georgia Tech 55


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