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Alabama vs. Georgia: Bulldog DE Ray Drew making the most of his opportunity

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Ray Drew got an opportunity when senior defensive end Abry Jones went down with an injury, and the sophomore isn't letting that opportunity pass him by.

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Defensive end Ray Drew is stepping up in a big way for the Georgia Bulldogs, reports The Red and Black. Drew seems to improving with every game, just in time for Georgia facing the Alabama Crimson Tide for the 2012 SEC Championship.

Drew's playing time increased significantly since October, when senior end Abry Jones lost the remainder of his season to an ankle injury. The sophomore posted a career-best four tackles against Georgia Southern, then doubled that number in Georgia's destruction of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Drew knows he has a future with the team and is mindful that opportunities can take time to develop in college football:

"As a player, anyone wants to see the field in day one until the day they leave. Sometimes it doesn't happen that way. Sometimes you have to go through a process. Sometimes you've got to change before you get your opportunity, but it's all about what you do when you get that opportunity."

Defensive coordinator Rodney Garner has been impressed with the 6'5, 253-pound Drew. "Ray has improved tremendously," Red and Black quotes Garner saying. "We need to just keep continuing his development, keep him coming."

The ceiling on that development is likely to be fairly high: Drew was a five-star recruit and was named to the USA Today All-USA first-team defense in high school.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.