5-star LB explains why Tigers made his final 3

Five-star linebacker Owen Pappoe is closing in on his commitment decision, and he is happy that the end of his recruiting process is in sight.

The Loganville (Ga.) Grayson sensation started receiving scholarship offers in middle school and now has over 40 in tow as a junior, so he will be relieved when his recruiting process is in the rearview.

Last week, Pappoe took one of the last steps in his recruitment when he released his final three schools. Clemson, Georgia and Nebraska made the cut for the top-ranked outside linebacker in the 2019 class.

Pappoe told The Clemson Insider that it felt good to narrow his lengthy list of suitors.

“I can finally breathe,” he said, laughing.

Clemson has long been a constant in Pappoe’s recruitment. He has visited Clemson numerous times over the years, and the Tigers have been squarely in the mix for his services since offering him when he was a sophomore.

Pappoe (6-0, 207) said it wasn’t a difficult decision to include Clemson as one of his three finalists.

“They have always been one of my top schools,” he said. “I respect all the coaches there and what they have done the past couple of years, and also I believe I would be set up for success, not just on the field but academically as well.”

Area recruiter Mickey Conn — Pappoe’s former head coach at Grayson — and defensive coordinator Brent Venables are heading his recruitment for the Tigers.

Pappoe remains a priority for Clemson and he continues to hear regularly from the coaches.

“Every other day,” Pappoe said. “They want me to ‘be a part of something special.’”

As for Georgia and Nebraska, Pappoe said they made his short list because he feels he could be successful at those schools both on and off the field as well.

“I like both coaching staffs, they have good football programs and academically I know I would be set,” he said.

Pappoe plans to make a decision sooner than later but said he is not sure exactly when he will announce his commitment.

In 11 games as a junior this season, Pappoe has recorded 82 tackles, including 11 for loss, along with three sacks, 10 quarterback hurries, one pass defensed, one fumble recovery, a safety and two blocked punts.

He is ranked by the major recruiting services as a consensus top-20 prospect in his class regardless of position.