Days after Owen Pappoe competed at The Nike Opening regional in the Atlanta area in March, he said he thought he should have been the first freshman to ever receive an invitation to The Opening Finals in Oregon.
It took some time, but Pappoe got his wish this week. Organizers added him to the group of 166 of the nation’s best who will compete at Nike World Headquarters in July. And yes, he is the first freshman invited.
“I wasn’t expecting it because I thought I was too young,” Pappoe told USA TODAY High School Sports. “It feels great to know that I’m the first ever freshman to make it. I’m very honored and going to make the best of this opportunity.”
RecruitDiaries.com: Owen Pappoe in his own words on offseason, recruiting and more
Pappoe’s nickname is “The Freak” and he showed why at the regional. Pappoe — a linebacker for Grayson in Loganville, Ga. — was named the SPARQ ratings MVP and had the highest total at the camp (128.22). It was the highest for any freshman ever and also any linebacker ever. His vertical was 39 inches, he ran a 4.57 forty and a 4.12 shuttle, threw the power ball 42.5 feet.
He has big offseason plans, and those plans now include The Opening.
“I’m ready to compete and show the world what I can do against top competition,” he said.