Andrew Raym has never gotten into the illusion of recruiting. He doesn’t seek to distract anyone with any trickeration or eye candy. He says what he means and means what he says.
Raym (it rhymes with fame or game) had four of his five official visits already in mind. He also knew he wanted to share his choice on the Under Armour All-American Game stage in January of 2020. It certainly wasn’t the stuff reporters hear from a young man with 11 months before he could sign anything.
This was a fella who took to his recruiting with a sense of urgency, too. Clearly.
He ran his recruiting like he gets coached up. Raym just comes straight off the ball. Fast and hard.
“Explosive and aggressive,” Raym says when asked to describe his playing style.
With Georgia and Raym, the degree of difficulty involves replacing a childhood dream with perhaps the best possible decision for his future.
It might mean Mom might need to get a new yard sign. Might.
The native Oklahoman was at one time committed to the Sooners. Raym said on Monday evening that he still has the Sooners in a final three with Michigan and Georgia.
The decision, he feels, is now right upon him. And some things have changed.
He has taken the Georgia official. Michigan will be this weekend. He’s not certain he will take any more officials after that trek through Ann Arbor.
“I don’t know,” Raym said about his Michigan trip. “I think this might be my last one.”
He also has moved up that timeline to commit at the Under Armour All-American game.
“I will probably be committed within a week or two,” he said.
His finalists are clear.
“I’d say it is Michigan, Georgia and OU,” he said.
Weighing out the contenders for Andrew Raym
The premise for this section is just the simple recruiting stuff. Raym was asked to name the single biggest reason why he would choose each of those three schools.
If it is School X, when what would be the main reason why? He keeps it pretty much straight off the ball here, too.
Oklahoma: “Just because it is obviously a very powerful school. Basically a childhood dream.”
Michigan: “I think they’ve got some of the best player development actually.”
Georgia: “Because well….(he pauses.)… I don’t know. I just kind of like the feeling of Georgia and of the SEC. I think that could be one of the best places to become the best you can be.”
He tried on the Georgia gear this past weekend. He chose a red home uniform. That was a mild upset. Most elite recruits try on the black jersey just for the novelty of it all.
Raym is just not that boujee with it.
“I think that was kind of the one they just had out ready,” said Raym, who hopes to wear the No. 72 in college.
He also explained the accelerated timeline.
“It is somewhat of a new decision,” he said. “I don’t know. I just kind of want to get it over with.”
Raym is from Oklahoma. He also has that in common with Pittman. But he has a clear view of the Georgia program from over in Big 12 Country.
“I mean obviously they are just a dominant school,” Raym said. “They have been building and getting better every year so you can only wait to see what is going to happen next.”
Andrew Raym and Georgia is not a new thing
The seeds have been in the ground for a strong pull by Georgia with Raym for some time. When he spoke of Sam Pittman on the first day of 2019, he already noticed something different with him.
He didn’t really savor the daily back-and-forth message swap game with college coaches. Wasn’t his thing. When he did go through his messages, he found himself answering them all at one time.
He’d let them sit for days. That’s what it sounded like.
But then when he spoke to Pittman, they could talk at length. When they did, football was never really the subject either.
When Raym announced his top 5 schools on April 30, it was no shock to see Georgia in there. Especially after gathering up his thoughts on UGA over the first four months of 2019.
Raym has now taken an unofficial visit and an official visit to UGA this month. What was different about the official? What did his last visit show him about Athens that the other one did not?
His answers were just more of the same ol’ Raym. No subterfuge or complex thoughts necessary.
“Honestly, I just have a great feeling when I am at UGA,” Raym said. “It is just an extraordinary place with amazing facilities. Coach Pittman, I think, is awesome. I love it.”
It is not just Pittman, though.
“It is everything really,” he said. “The players there. They are exactly like me. I don’t know. It just feels like home there.”
The 6-foot-5, 293-pound Raym even had a “whoa” moment on his official.
“I think the ‘whoa’ moment for me was when coach Pittman showed me a picture of the O-line and D-line guys drafted out of each conference. It was like 25 from the SEC. Then maybe like 10 Big 12 and 15 Big 10. That surprised me.”
Raym hopes to pursue an Environmental Engineering major in college. But he also knows himself.
He can see himself checking down to a less taxing major.
“I’ll probably get there and realize it is too much work while being an athlete,” he said.
There’s just a lot to like about this guy and his sense of self-awareness. He plans to enroll early in January of 2020.
Where Andrew Raym could play at Georgia
Isaiah Wynn is the former Bulldog who comes up a lot here. Raym has the feet and length and ability and mindset to play all across the line. Wynn signed as a guard but was drafted in the first round as an OT.
Cade Mays is the ideal player parallel from the 2018 season. This could very well be a “where ever I would fit in best” solution with Raym’s potential with the Georgia line.
He rates as the nation’s No. 3 OG and the No. 90 overall player for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
“Coach Pittman knows and I know that I can play all five positions,” Raym said. “It is just what I guess however it works out.”
Raym just wants to get on the field and help his next team. But he hasn’t played center or guard in a few seasons. He’s been at tackle mostly for Broken Arrow High in Oklahoma.
“I’m comfortable pretty much anywhere,” Raym said.
He had the chance to hang out with Joshua Braun and Tate Ratledge over his official visit in Athens.
“They were really cool,” Raym said. “We all went bowling together and they were just a bunch of great guys. Easy to connect with. They were cool.”
“Big A” said he rolled in the 130s to take the games among that trio.
The Raym decision here does feel a lot like what Ratledge went through with his choice. Just replace the Tennessee Volunteers with Ratledge with Raym and the Oklahoma Sooners.
What would Andrew Raym mean to the OL class at UGA?
Raym is aware that Georgia already has some impressive O-line commits in the 2020 class.
Ratledge and 5-star Broderick Jones are clear tackles. But Ratledge does do cartwheels on lawns these days. The near 6-foot-7 road grader out of Rome could also be an early guard.
Braun has been told he could play guard or tackle in Athens. He’s ready for either role and could even rep at the center spot. Those that follow this stuff only know that this sort of versatility will only play well in the NFL one day. A guy that can fill in at multiple positions is a bonus for a 53-man roster.
The big Texan Akinola Ogunbiyi is a clear guard option, but he also has great feet in his own right. Ogunbiyi rates as the nation’s No. 11 guard on the composite, but he has a very high ceiling. The prospect profile for Ogunbiyi only includes three seasons of varsity football and football total. Rivals.com already has him as the nation’s No. 4 guard.
So where would Raym fit in? Would that close out the class? What about Sedrick Van Pran out of New Orleans? Van Pran rates as the nation’s No. 3 center and the No. 103 overall prospect on the composite.
He is also thinking about accelerated timelines, too. Van Pran will visit UGA in late July for an unofficial. Georgia is seen as one of his top schools along with Alabama and LSU and Oklahoma.
Is this a race to commit between Raym and Van Pran?
Raym doesn’t want to lose a spot in the right class if it feels like a fit. That said, he said he has not felt an ounce of pressure from Georgia and Pittman when it comes to the timing here.
“They are telling me it doesn’t matter when I commit,” Raym said. “If I decide in January, they will still take me. So there’s not any pressure really.”
He just sounds ready. He feels he’s seen everything he needs to in order to make this decision. When he spoke to coach Kirby Smart, the degree of difficulty of pulling him over to the class from Oklahoma did come up.
“They told me they know it will be difficult to leave a powerhouse in your home state but that Georgia and their program and the SEC is what can make me be the best that I can be,” Raym said.
Mom is also on board with the potential choice having him in that red No. 72.
“My mom loved it actually,” Andrew Raym said. “My Dad does, too.”
His mother actually had one very specific message on his visit. It came while he was going out for the night with the fellow 2020 commits and targets.
She might not have known they were going bowling. But the story remains a good one. Especially if she wanted him to keep it out of the gutter nonetheless.
“Before I went out she says ‘I love it here’ and ‘be safe’ and ‘be smart’ and then she said “I will buy me a new yard sign next week’ and ‘Go Dawgs’ after she said that,” Raym said.