'The Freak' Owen Pappoe on offseason, The Opening results and visits 'The Freak' Owen Pappoe on offseason, The Opening results and visits

Recruit Diaries 'The Freak' Owen Pappoe on offseason, The Opening results and visits

By is a partner of USA TODAY High School Sports. This entry is with freshman linebacker Owen Pappoe from Grayson in Loganville, Ga., who talked about his offseason workouts, his performance Sunday at The Opening regional in Atlanta and his recent visits. 

How’s everyone doing? It is Owen Pappoe again back with my third installment of my Recruit Diary. Last time I wrote, I recapped my first high school season, which culminated in me being named a Freshman All-American. That was a great honor, but I have a lot of work to do if I want to improve and get even better next year. Grind season is here and I must improve a little bit everyday before the start of next season.

Football games are won and lost in the offseason. The players and teams that work hard in the offseason, when nobody is watching are usually the best teams. Hard work always pays off and when your not giving everything you can, you are cheating not only yourself, but also your team. I work out Monday through Thursday after school, and also on Sundays individually at GSP (Georgia Sports Performance); each day is an opportunity to get better.  The workouts at school focus mostly on speed and conditioning while workouts at GSP are position oriented.


The Opening Atlanta was Sunday and it was my first time at the event. I was the only freshman who was there. My SPARQ test results were amazing, and I actually recorded the highest total score of any freshman ever, and also any linebacker ever. My vertical was 39 inches, I ran a 4.57 forty and a 4.12 shuttle, and I threw the power ball 42.5 feet. I was named the Ratings MVP and I scored the highest at the camp with a total score of 128.22. I was really happy with my score and even happier with the way I performed in one on ones. I do not think I lost a rep and I was competing with some of the best players in the nation.

I was kind of bummed that I didn’t receive an invite to the finals, which will be in Oregon, but they have never given a freshman an invite (I think I should have been the first). Overall it was a great day and I had a lot of fun.

I have been going on visits since January and have been to some of the best programs in the nation. I have visited Alabama, Tennessee, FSU, Georgia, Florida and Miami. I have been two Georgia multiple times, one for their Junior Day in which I was one of the only freshman invited. I was also there Saturday for the nation’s first Freshman Day, it was a great experience and I always feel at home when I visit Athens.

My favorite visit though, was Tennessee. It always is a special place to visit, and they always show us a great time. I would say Tennessee is my favorite school to visit. A visit isn’t all about having fun, it is also a chance to learn more about a school, a program, and the coaches.

One visit that really stuck out and opened my eyes was Florida. It was a great visit and it showed me that I can’t just be locked in on a couple schools, but I truly have to look at all my options and see what is best for my family and me.

For more of this diary, click here.

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