College Sports

Northside’s Drew commits to Georgia Tech

It's still about 50 weeks away from national signing day, but Northside's John Drew has already decided where he wants to go to school.

The defensive tackle becomes the first Bi-City player to commit in the Class of 2009 when he verbally agreed to sign with Georgia Tech on Monday.

“I'm not really worried about the timing, it's just the best fit for me,” Drew said. “I talked to my parents, and this feels like the best decision for me.”

All verbal commitments are non-binding, and he can't sign until Feb. 4, 2009. When he signs, he'll become the first Northside football player to sign with a Division I school.

“I am pretty excited,” Drew said. “It gives me the opportunity to set a good example for some of the younger players.”

Drew received an offer from the Yellow Jackets last week after attending the Georgia Tech Junior Day on Feb. 2. Drew, who is 6-foot-3, 295 pounds, had 70 tackles and nine sacks during his junior season. There were a lot of factors that played a role in his decision.

“I really like the location as it is not too far from Columbus,” he said. “It's a really good school. They don't have a lot of depth on the defensive line, so I will have a chance to play early.”

Despite not having coached a game at Georgia Tech, Paul Johnson made an impact on Drew. Johnson went 45-29 in six seasons at Navy. In 11 years as a head coach, Johnson has a record of 107-39.

“I saw that everywhere he has been, he has won,” Drew said. “He has been able to turn them into winning programs.”

Growing up, Drew didn't think that his future would be as a football player.

“As a kid, I always wanted to play basketball in college,” Drew said. “But then I began to realize that I'm a little undersized to play basketball. I saw that I could achieve things as a football player.”

Drew and his basketball teammates will open the first round of the Class AAA basketball playoffs on Friday night. The Patriots will take on Central-Macon — the team that eliminated Northside in the second round last year.