At 6-foot-2, 300 pounds, sporting a fully-grown beard, Eddy was an intimidative force on the offensive line for the Cass football team in his four years with the program.
Next fall, Eddy will take his imposing physical profile to the next level as he signed Thursday to attend Reinhardt on a football scholarship.
“Drake has been a four-year player for us and he continues to get bigger and better, and has worked extremely hard for it,” Eddy’s head coach at Cass, Rick Casko, said. “He’s such a big, strong son of a gun. He looks like he’s 30. Coaches said when we come off the field, ‘How old are those guys playing for you?,’ because they have the beards.
“Drake’s just a great, big, kindhearted kid and he started to understand how physical he could play. He grew and got better as his senior year went on and I’m really proud of him.”
Eddy was an all-region first-team selection his senior season and recorded 46 pancakes to go along with an 80 percent grade average. He also was selected to the 2013 Daily Tribune News All-County team.
According to Casko, Eddy especially improved his play toward the end of the season.
“The second half of the season, he really played well. It clicked and he was dominant,” Casko said. “He could take guys over, and at the region meeting, coaches said, ‘Who was that kid, No. 59?’ He really picked it up and he really helped himself.
“I think moving to guard helped him. He got to move a little bit and he really, really tasted his senior season. I really saw him mature as a young man. It was wonderful. I just saw a growth in him.”
Eddy also saw his production improve as his career progressed.
“Everybody has told me since I was in middle school that I have the talent and size to go somewhere. I was always hard-headed, so I didn’t listen to them. But about my junior year, I started really working,” Eddy said of his transformation into a dominant player during his senior year. “I finally started to do what I could with my body and talents that I was given. I wish I would have started earlier. I think I started listening to people and started seeing how my body was doing and on the football field, going against my opponents and doing well.”
Eddy will be joining fellow Colonel Montavius Parker at Reinhardt, an NAIA program set to begin its second season this fall in the Mid-South Conference.
“It feels good. I’m relieved. I’m looking forward to playing at Reinhardt, especially with Montavius. I played with him since middle school,” Eddy said. “I’m looking forward to my future, four years at RU. I’m really excited about it. I’m thankful for the talent God’s given me and the support I’ve gotten.”
Eddy played tackle and guard for Cass but believes his best opportunity to get on the field will be at the center position at Reinhardt.
“Right now, I’m looking at center. That’s what the offensive line coach there told me,” Eddy said. “It’s going to be a transition from playing tackle and guard on Friday nights to playing center on Saturday. I’m not going there and expecting to be a standout right away. I’m going to fit in with my team and work as hard as I can to do whatever the team needs me to do.”
Eddy knows he will have to work hard to earn playing time, but Casko feels he will do well at Reinhardt and make an impact in his four years.
“He’s going to have a chance to play,” he said of Eddy. “He went to a lot of camps and was really pursuing every avenue of going to the next level. He’s really worked in the weight room, he’s gotten strong. Technically, he’s gotten much better.”
Eddy plans to continue building on his renewed practice habits and strong play he displayed over the second half of his season year.
“When I get to college, I’m going to really work hard and I can only imagine what kind of player I’ll be with the work ethic I’ve developed,” he said. “I felt like I could control people my senior year, especially how the coaches taught me when I actually bought in to what they were telling me.”
While Eddy will bring the lessons he learned at Cass to college, his signature beard may not make the trip to Reinhardt.
“I dont know if I can go another summer with it,” Eddy said. “It’s hot out there.”