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Curtis Drake is among a trio of Nittany Lion lettermen looking forward to the 2011 campaign after missing the entire 2010 season due to injuries. Drake suffered a broken left leg during the first week of preseason practice last year and took a medical redshirt season after demonstrating his playmaking abilities as a true freshman in 2009. He was able to participate in practice towards the end of last season, but then broke his left leg again during the first week of spring practice. His availability for the season will be re-evaluated during preseason practice. A vastly talented and quick athlete, a healthy Drake would significantly bolster the Nittany Lions' offense. He made eight catches for 98 yards as a true freshman in 2009, but his biggest play of the season came with his arm. The former West Philadelphia Catholic HS all-state quarterback threw a 14-yard touchdown to Andrew Quarless at Michigan State to help trigger a 28-point onslaught in a 42-14 victory that stamped Penn State's place in another New Year's Day bowl. If healthy, the Philadelphia product will be poised to play a significant role for the offense and continue his very promising future on the gridiron.
Drake suffered a broken leg during the first week of preseason practice and was lost for the season, taking a medical redshirt year. After his rehabilitation, he was able to participate in practice towards the end of the season.
2009 Freshman Season
Playing in every game, Drake was one of eight true freshmen to take the field. He made eight receptions for 98 yards (12.2) and gained 24 yards on just four carries, including a 26-yard end-around in the win over Indiana. He also threw a touchdown pass. Drake made his first career reception in the season-opening win over Akron. He also made a 10-yard reception against hometown Temple and earned his first career start in the win at Illinois. Drake was ready for the challenge when Chaz Powell was injured on the second play of the Indiana game. He made two catches for 34 yards, in addition to his big run. He was a big contributor in the 42-14 win at Michigan State. Drake's scoring strike to tight end Andrew Quarless was a significant one in helping the Nittany Lions to their 10th win and a New Year's Day bowl berth. Tied, 7-7, early in the third quarter at Spartan Stadium, Drake took a hand-off from Daryll Clark and appeared headed around the right end, when he pulled up and lofted a pass that Quarless went up and grabbed near the back of the end zone for a 14-7 lead just 1:07 into the second half. The play began a 28-point barrage in the third quarter, propelling Penn State to the 28-point win. In addition to his touchdown pass, he made two receptions for 22 yards and had an 18-yard carry against the Spartans, helping the Lions eclipse 500 yards for the fourth time in 2009. Drake made a key 12-yard reception during Penn State's game-winning drive against LSU in the 2010 Capital One Bowl. He was on the field for 186 plays during the 2009 season, led by 37 at Michigan State and 33 against Indiana.
The 2008 Pennsylvania Class AA Player-of-the-Year and an all-state selection, Drake was a standout for Coach Brian Fluck at West Philadelphia Catholic HS. As a senior quarterback, Drake ran for 1,639 yards and 21 touchdowns, gaining 14.5 yards per carry. He also completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,354 yards and 15 touchdowns. Drake was selected to play in the Big 33 Classic.
Full name is Curtis Duvall Drake. He is a media studies major in the College of Communications. Born February 1, 1991.
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