Playing at Detroit-area talent factory Cass Tech means college coaches are constantly streaming through the school. That has no doubt helped rising junior linebacker Deon Drake's exposure, and the class of 2014 prospect received news of his first scholarship offer on Thursday.
"Syracuse Coach [Tyrone] Wheatley was up at the school today," Drake reported. "He said he was glad to see me again and in September he would be offering me."
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Drake has had a strong off-season on the camp scene and is certainly one of the top underclassmen at Cass Tech. Watching several of his upperclass teammates pull in offers, Drake knew his time would come, but he did not expect it so soon.
"It was kind of unexpected. I had a smile on my face," Drake said. "I don't know much about Syracuse, but I have seen a couple games and they are looking pretty good to me."
Other schools have also been through the school asking specifically about Drake. His coach has told him Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa are among those programs showing early interest.
"I'm kind of balanced with all schools," Drake said. "I would say Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State, those are the ones that have really opened my eyes up."
Drake played on a Cass Tech team that won the Division I state title last fall. That squad featured two senior linebackers - Royce Jenkins-Stone and Laron Taylor - who would go on to sign letters of intent with Big Ten schools and he is still learning from playing with those guys.
"I learned a lot from Laron Taylor and Royce. To this day, I still go back and watch film, see how their technique was and how they read [plays]. I talk to them and ask them to correct me, because I want to be perfect. I'm real excited to step into their shoes."