2008 Key Stat: 12. That’s the number of games Drake missed last season due to an ongoing left ankle injury that needed surgery and forced him to receive a medical shirt. 2008 was not very kind to the Ball High School graduate. His family’s apartment in Galveston was demolished by Hurricane Ike, adding to a frustrating season.
Why he will start: As evident from his play in 2007, Drake has the ability to anchor an entire offensive line with his athleticism and strength. Coach Dodge has already said that he will almost surely start at right guard in 2009.
Why he won’t start: Unlike previous seasons, North Texas will enter 2009 with a ton of depth on the offensive line. If Drake shows up to camp and is still showing signs of ankle problems, that could prompt Coach Leftwich into re-thinking the right guard position.
Don’t forget: Drake was a second-team all-conference performer in 2007.
Overall: With a season of disarray behind him, Drake gets the chance to return to the gridiron and play the game he loves.