Loganville (Ga.) Grayson five-star linebacker Owen Pappoe doesn’t boast about the fact he has around 40 offers as a rising junior and is one of the most coveted prospects in the 2019 class.
“I’m just humbling myself,” Pappoe told The Clemson Insider. “I try not to get big-headed about it, but I’m handling it pretty good.”
With a slew of major programs in pursuit, Pappoe is ready to release a narrowed-down list of suitors. He intends to announce his top 10 schools on Sunday.
“I was supposed to drop my top 10 (last Sunday), but there was a situation with my edit that I was going to post for it,” he said. “It got delayed, so I had to push it back.”
Pappoe’s offer sheet is lined with high-profile programs, including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Southern Cal and Tennessee.
Pappoe named Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State and Georgia as his hardest-recruiting schools to date.
A pair of Clemson coaches stopped by Grayson to check in on Pappoe last week.
“Coach (Mickey) Conn was actually at the school (Saturday) with the O-line coach (Robbie Caldwell),” he said. “I’m trying to schedule a visit there soon.”
Pappoe’s relationship with Conn, his former head coach at Grayson, is one of the reasons he is considering Clemson.
“He’s a real cool dude,” Pappoe said. “He doesn’t just care about you on the field. He makes sure you’re good off the field, too, and life after football.”
He admitted his relationship with defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables isn’t as developed, which is why he wants to get back on Clemson’s campus.
“Our relationship, it’s not as strong as it is with me and other schools, but I’m trying to get up there more so I can build that relationship with him,” Pappoe said. “But we talk every now and then.”
Pappoe is scheduled to visit Georgia this month and most recently tripped to Florida State in April.
He last visited Clemson, which offered in March 2016, for the Louisville game in October.
“The atmosphere was crazy,” he said. “The fans, all the love they were showing to the players.”
Pappoe, who plans to make his college decision next summer before his senior season, said all of the schools in the top 10 he is set to unveil share a similarity.
“All the schools that are in my top 10, they’re going to make sure academically that I’m going to be set for life after football,” he said. “So, it’s just all about fits now, and am I going to be successful in the defensive scheme.”
Clemson fans can rest assured, the Tigers will make Pappoe’s upcoming cut.
“I’m going to go ahead and spoil it,” he said. “Clemson is in it.”
Pappoe (6-0, 207) is ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 1 linebacker and No. 4 overall prospect in the 2019 class.