By USA TODAY High School Sports | May 17, 2017 10:20 am ET
Owen Pappoe was dubbed “The Freak” early in his football career.
Before he even played a varsity football game for Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), he had a dozen college offers from schools such as Florida State, Georgia, Florida and others.
Last summer, he became the first sophomore-to-be to get invited to The Opening Finals in Oregon; he already has earned his invitation for this summer and could potentially become the first three-time Opening finalist. He often has been the youngest player invited to camps and on unofficial visits.
Most recruiting sites have not ranked Class of 2019 prospects yet, but 247Sports has Pappoe as the No. 1 outside linebacker and the No. 4 player overall.
The recruiting process has been accelerated for him.
With that, the Class of 2019 outside linebacker announced his top 10 this week, with six schools from the Southeastern Conference making the cut — Florida, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn. He also has Ohio State, Clemson, Florida State and Nebraska.
“It was cool watching how everyone reacted to it,” Pappoe told USA TODAY High School Sports about the response since he released the top 10. “Everyone was excited for me.”
And for him, “It is a sense of relief for me.”
Given that he can’t sign a letter of intent until December 2018 under the new early signing period, there is plenty of time for his mind to change between now and then. But he said, a few coaches were already trying to change his mind when they saw that their schools were not in the top 10.
“I told them that my recruitment is closed off completely,” Pappoe said. “Those are just the 10 schools that stand out to me and if they feel like theirs would be better for me then they’re going to have to show me.”