CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Owen Pappoe had his prom last night, but he said he got more sleep than any of his three Grayson teammates.
Pretty hard to imagine what he would do if he had a long night of rest. Pappoe set a Nike Opening regional record with his football rating of 147.12 at Rocky River High on Sunday morning.
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) April 15, 2018
He’s now making his commitment on May 1 instead of May 5, but you might have likely read that already on the site today.
Here’s what you might not have laid eyes on yet:
- He has no leader at this time between Auburn, UGA or any other school. “I really have an idea of who it is going to be,” Pappoe said. “But I am going to make sure that I visit two specific schools back to back. I am not going to say who they are, but I will make sure that I will visit them back-to-back and I will make my decision based off of them.”
- If you trade in that sort of thing, he wore a UGA backpack and a UGA zip-up windbreaker on Sunday. He has competed with a pair of LSU gloves on.
- While we are on the subject of LSU, he said that those SEC West Tigers are now his No. 3 team.
His visit plans do not include G-Day. He will be at Penn State on an official visit this weekend and then Texas the following weekend for an official. He will also make to take two more officials in the fall.
- Auburn and Georgia will not get official visits, but they will both likely receive another additional visit prior to his May 1 decision.
- He measured 6 feet and 1 inch on Sunday and was weighed at 210 pounds. His testing numbers went like this: 4.47 in the 40; 45 feet Powerball toss; 4.0 short shuttle; 40-inch vertical.
- Pappoe said that UGA 5-star commits Nolan Smith and Jadon Hasewlood continue to “hammer” him about playing in Athens. He said they come at him harder than the UGA coaches do. The Bulldog staff has more of a laid-back approach…..well, until recently.
- When he makes his decision on May 1, it will not shut down his recruiting. He will still likely take other visits.
- He said he didn’t actually train specifically for any of the Opening events on Sunday. “No lie,” Pappoe said. “I didn’t train for this at all. I actually shocked myself doing this. It is a blessing.”
That about covers the stuff for those with the five seconds of attention span with the decision from the nation’s No. 1 OLB and the No. 7 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite ranking.
“I have said that Georgia is my top school,” Pappoe said. “They are. People say that Auburn is coming into the picture. (Pauses). I guess so.”
We will dive a little deeper into this decision from here on in.
Owen Pappoe: The decision in his own words
As stated earlier, he told DawgNation on Sunday that he has no public leader at this time. That has changed over the last month. What happened there? How did Auburn catch the home state Bulldogs?
He said that three-day unofficial visit over the last month mattered. That’s because every time he had been to Auburn before it had been for a game or a camp. The personal attention and extended one-on-one time from that trek really made an impression.
“I really do have interest in Auburn,” Pappoe said.
But he also wondered why the internet would run wild with crystal ball picks and speculation that he was now trending toward Auburn. He didn’t see where all the “he’s now going to Auburn” stuff came about.
Why would he eventually choose Georgia?
“Just stay home and play with my brothers,” Pappoe said, noting that attention from Haselwood and Smith.
Why would he eventually choose Auburn?
“Just to see how the recruiting class there goes,” Pappoe said. “Whenever I go, I want to play with some dogs, too.”
When he decides, he feels he will “be pretty solid with the school he picks” on May 1.
He also had a thought to help focus frame up those internet analyst crystal balls and rumors.
“I just look at it like this: If you don’t hear from the man then don’t believe it,” he said. “It is just rumors.”
This is a close decision, but he will not allow anyone to paint him as having a hard decision with this. That’s a mature statement. That’s because if anyone is prepared to weather a tough college decision, it is Pappoe.
He has been getting major college offers since before his freshman year. Pappoe has been heavily recruited since his freshman season. He also has a cadre of good mentors and coaches to lean on around Grayson High School.
There was a time when he was supposed to (air quotes are maybe necessary here) choose Clemson. Then Florida State. Then Georgia.
“You can’t make it hard on yourself,” Pappoe said. “People will say this makes it hard or they talk about the relationships they have with a coach. You just can’t make it hard on yourself.”
How did the UGA coaches respond to the Auburn chatter?
Pappoe gave a very honest answer to how the Bulldogs responded to all the internet rumors about him trending to Auburn.
“I was like ‘Coach just let the media be the media’ and I just told them if you don’t hear something coming from me than don’t listen to it,” Pappoe said.
Inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann reached out. So did defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. Pappoe then noted that every program has the graduate assistants and staffers that follow the Twitter grapevines.
“They were basically like ‘We are hearing this what is up?’ and just talk to about it,” Pappoe said.
The 5-star LB did just that.
“I was just like ‘coach this is the media and you know how it is going’ with me,” he said. “They didn’t really take it too seriously.”
What is the truest thing he can say right now about his decision?
“I’ve been getting offers since the eighth grade,” Pappoe said. “I’ve put a lot of thought into it and I believe whatever decision that I make is going to be the right one for me.”
Pappoe had a UGA bookbag and a UGA windbreaker on Sunday. He also wore a mostly red-and-black tuxedo to his prom on Saturday night. Are there any conspiracy theories to sort through there?
“No comment,” he said.
What can the Bulldogs do to seal up his decision?
“They don’t have to do anything special,” Pappoe said. “(They way) how they have been recruiting me this far is really good.”
“I just want to make sure I play with some dogs,” Pappoe said. “I want to see how their recruiting class goes.”
That’s an important point. Auburn is trending heavily with 4-star DB Jashawn Sheffield from South Georgia. His Grayson teammate Wanya Morris is down to Auburn and Tennessee.
There is the recent Auburn commitment Jakai Clark. Clark is another Grayson teammate.
That said, the Tigers have three total commitments for 2019. Georgia has three 5-star commitments in that same cycle.
He said the Grayson school community all feels he will choose the Bulldogs.
“Everybody thinks that I am going to go to Georgia,” he said. “I will just let everybody think what they want to think. They will see May 1.”
Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.
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