Story by: Marc Bowman, RecruitLook
Passion, pedigree and purpose.
While it’s easy to see Drake Morey’s passion on the gridiron, his calm demeanor off the field belies strong determination.
But make no mistake, Morey will get what he wants, and what he wants is to play college football.
“I have a strong drive for the things that I want,” said the 6-6, 250-pound defensive lineman from Ashland, OR. “If I want something, I’m going to get it.”
Morey isn’t idly confident; he has worked very hard to become a Division I prospect.
“His size and strength has been worked hard over the last three years to get where he’s at,” said
RecruitLook area scout Tommy Canale. “He’s not a kid that believes in taking protein shakes and doing all the stuff you get at GNC. He’s a big, strong kid and he loves football. He loves physical fitness and, obviously, he loves the weight room.”
Although he didn’t start his training regimen until he turned 14, Morey has taken the slow, sure path to building a strong, athletic body using proper diet, adequate sleep, and a steady exercise regimen.
“His dad has helped him; he’s done it from the ground up, working hard and having a balanced diet,” Canale said. “He’s worked his tail off. He gradually just keeps getting bigger and stronger. You might think this has happened over night when in actuality it has been going on for about three years.”
“It takes some time and dedication,” said Drake’s father, Kimn. “But once you put the time and dedication in you’ll be a true athlete. You’ll be healthy and be able to do any sport. Your body will accept those gains more naturally.”
As a former Strongman competitor and a bodybuilder for 25 years, Kimn stresses the importance of overall health.
“I’m very natural, like all the athletes I’ve trained with,” Kimn said. “I’ve told him we have to do it naturally. I always tell him the eating and working out becomes secondary. Sleep comes number one, then training. You’ve got to get the right amount of sleep, then you’re ready to work your body in the gym. That’s the philosophy. That’s the way I was trained.”
“My dad kind of brought me up with weightlifting,” Drake said. “I’m letting him train me to learn the correct way. He taught me all the basics.”
Watch Drake Morey’s Junior Year Highlights
Drake has added about 35 pounds since the end of last football season, and is now hitting new personal bests in the gym: lifting 405 in the squat, 315 on the bench and a 295 power clean. The diet and training regimen has helped keep him in great shape; he had a 12-percent body fat measurement prior to adding the recent weight.
“I’m still pretty lean, but I have put on weight,” Drake said. “I’ve put on a few pounds since the end of my junior year.”
He has also been working on his quickness; Morey has been timed at 4.78 in the 40-yard dash.
“This month I started doing speed training with the D-Line coach over at Southern Oregon University,” he said. “We work two days a week. The surprising thing is I put on all this weight but I’m almost quicker.”
“A kid that’s 6-6 with 12 percent body fat, at 250 pounds, pushing a sub-5 forty is moving,” Canale said. “He definitely has Division I speed; his strength is up to Division I. It’s a matter of finding the right Division I coach that would love to utilize that size and speed.”
He knows how to make good use of that size and speed while chasing quarterbacks.
“We took a look at him and saw some film,” Canale said. “And it took me all of about two minutes to go ‘OK, this kid can play’. When you see his videos you’re going to think this kid is an animal, which he is on the football field. You can tell he’s got a real passion for the game.”
“I love the sport,” Drake said. “I have an older brother, he played football throughout high school. I always would go and watch his games. When I got to high school it was something that I wanted to play. I enjoy the aspect of grinding, so I can get a lot of tackles. A lot of times it’s crucial; you’re the guy that’s going after the quarterback.”
Some of his passion comes from strong athletic blood. In addition to his bodybuilding father, his mother, Tiffany Louise, was a semi-pro softball player and his maternal grandfather played two years with the Denver Broncos.
Does Drake dream of following his grandfather into the NFL?
“I love football,” he said. “I definitely want to play football in college. If I can take it to the next level, I’d love to, but I definitely want to get a great education so when I’m out of college I can actually do something with the degree.”
“He’s very aware of how things work,” Kimn said. “He wants to get an education because that’s what you have to fall back on. That’s what he’s focused on. He’s very humble.”
His father has discussed the possibility with Drake.
“I think we have three goals,” Kimn said. “We have a small goal, a short-term goal for the season. Then we have an intermediate goal, which is wanting to get a great education and play college ball.
“Then that long-term goal, to shoot for the moon, he may have the opportunity if he stays healthy and his career goes well, to try out for the NFL. But, he’s more like ‘I’d really like to get a great education and I’d love to play some college football for four years’. He’d like to be an NFL player, but he doesn’t put it out there like that. Education is first and then keep playing ball and see where it goes.”
Drake has the same passion for his studies as he does for football.
“He is a good student,” Canale said. “A 3.67 GPA and he’s been on the Dean’s List every year. He’s big into the weight room and fitness, but he takes his studies just as seriously.”
The opportunity to play college football is extremely important to Drake, but he places even more importance on getting a quality education.
“Definitely, education is the key to my decision,” he said. “That’s why I’m really looking at Ivy League schools. I’m really trying to get a good education.”
And the Ivy League schools are looking hard at Drake.
He will be making a visit to Columbia University in June, and he has received serious interested from several other Ivy League schools, including Brown, Yale and Harvard; additionally, he recently received a full-ride offer from the Air Force Academy.
In addition to the Columbia visit, Morey will be attending several football camps this summer, including Stanford and the University of Oregon.
While he hopes his football prospects will take him through a strong four-year college, it is already taking him around the world as a member of Team USA.
Drake and his teammates will be traveling to Japan to play in the Pacific Rim Bowl at the end of July. The game is part of a two-year cycle of games which are hosted alternatively in Japan and the U.S., featuring an all-star team from Japan.
“It’s very exciting,” he said. “I’m super excited to go there and play their All-Star team. I’ve never been to Japan.”
“It’s amazing,” Kimn said. “He’ll be out there about 10 days. It’s a very cool cultural experience and he’s very excited about it.”
When he returns home it’ll be time for his senior football season and to find the right place to play college ball, where he’ll be a terrific catch for whomever signs him.
“He’s a great young man,” Canale said. “He’s a very, very polite young man and very well spoken. He’s smart and has a great passion for the game. He’s a great kid to talk to.”
“Drake is probably not like (many) younger kids,” Kimn said. “He seems so much older and mature. He’s always been that way. I think it’s his demeanor, his work ethic and his personality. Everyone who runs into him says the same thing. He’s the hardest worker on the field. He works harder than everybody they’ve seen. He’s humble and polite, and he’s got manners that you don’t see anymore. I think that’s what impresses them most.”
For more information about Class of 2018 prospect Drake Morey, contact RecruitLook’s Tommy Canale.