Daniel Drummond certainly passed the eye test at this year’s track and field state championships.
Standing 6-foot-3 and a reported 265 pounds, the Flowery Branch High senior managed to stick out, even among the biggest crop of competitors at the Georgia Olympics. He left a couple hours after he arrived with a complete sweep, winning the Class AAA state title in the discus (169-feet, 6-inches) as well as the shot put (57-6.5).
Talk about a successful day.
For his efforts, Drummond is The Times 2009 Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“Now that I’ve had time to look back on it, winning state in both is a big accomplishment,” Drummond said. “To be able to do both is really awesome.”
The drive to win both state titles as a senior was enough to keep the defending state champion in the discus from graduating after the fall semester and his trip to the Class AAA state title game with the Flowery Branch football team.
He had already earned enough credits to enroll at Georgia Tech and could have started to prepare for the 2009 football season; Drummond plans to play running back for the Yellow Jackets. On top of that, enrolling early would put him in good standing for summer practice, with a spring among future teammates under his belt.
But that drive to capture two state titles in his final year of high school was enough to compel Drummond to spend one more semester on campus at Flowery Branch. Even a pulled hamstring prior to the Region 7-AAA track meet didn’t derail his desire to finish his high school career as a three-time state champion.
“He really wanted that double gold this season,” said his father, Jim Drummond.
What drives Daniel Drummond’s success for track and field also applies to football — his constant desire to refine his body through endless hours of physical conditioning.
Lifting weights is a big part of preparing for a punishing career as a Division-I football player, but it also includes running, resistance work, explosiveness training and swimming, among other training outlets.
Drummond used his resources to his full advantage with gym memberships at The Factory in Duluth, Competitive Edge Sports, Bodyplex, Swim Atlanta, and also at Flowery Branch High’s weight room.
“Swimming is probably the hardest workout that I do,” Drummond said. “But I always feel really refreshed afterward.”
At The Factory, Drummond is already training in good football company, including Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran, Seattle Seahawks running back Justin Griffith and 2010 Georgia Tech verbal commit Denzel McCoy.
With a commitment to lifting that takes up close to 20 hours each week, Drummond is seeing positive results, especially when compared to his future teammates at Georgia Tech.
The future Yellow Jacket broke Flowery Branch records in the squat (600 pounds), bench press (415) and a power clean of 330. Georgia Tech’s highest when combining those three disciplines last season was defensive lineman Vance Walker at 1,310.
“Daniel’s walking in the door at Georgia Tech at 1,345,” his father added.
On top of rigourous workouts, his eating schedule is also pretty steady. A breakfast every day at 8 a.m. consisting of a protein shake, oatmeal and fruit is a must, followed by a steady stream of carbohydrates and lean meat during the day.
“If you’re not eating right, you’re just spinning your wheels,” Drummond added.
With Drummond’s success this season in track and field, he isn’t ready to shut the door on the possibility of both sports in college. Of course, with a full athletic scholarship, football has to remain a top priority.
The family already broached the topic with Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson to gauge his feeling on the issue. “Coach Johnson said it wouldn’t be a problem as long as Daniel was able to give 200 percent to football and 200 percent to his academics,” said Drummond’s father.
“I didn’t think I was going to miss track and field, but just in these last couple days I have,” Daniel Drummond said. “Obviously football has to be my first priority, but if it’s all right with coach Johnson, I’ll give (track) a try.”