This youngster, Owen Pappoe stands at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds and is an outside linebacker nicknamed “The Freak.” Is this nickname fitting? He runs the 40 in 4.57 seconds and he also received it from terrorizing his middle school quarterbacks and running backs over the past two years.
At 14, his strength and his speed are so outrageous that he’s is being considered the high school Grayson High’s premier prospect for an incoming freshman.
The coach for Boston College Al Washington was told to check out Owen, the premier prospect and watching Owen play in his eighth grade game made him a firm believer in The Freak.
“When [Washington] saw how big and strong Owen was, he was like ‘Oh my God,” said Kenyatta Watson, Grayson’s recruiting coordinator. “Then when Owen started running around and making plays, he was like ‘Let Owen know he has his first offer.'”
It was that Boston College offer that sped up Owen into the other top colleges as a prospect… Thirty college programs have scouted Owen in person. They went to his practices and contacted his coaches etc…
Here are only four schools among the 11 schools who also offered scholarships- Florida State, Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee along with Boston College of course.
“I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly,” Owen said. “I know it’s not common for this to happen to eighth graders. so it’s really exciting for me.”
Woody Wommack, Southeast recruiting analyst for Rivals.com said, “Early offers are more common now because the physical maturity of these kids is different and the visibility as well.”
The NCAA rules are clear and cutthroat, the rules prevent any colleges from trying to sign any letters of intent until February of their high school senior year and it prohibits college coaches from contacting prospects until July after their Junior year of high school.
Owen’s parents were both immigrated from Liberia over a quarter century ago, arriving with few possessions or money to their names. His mom, Rhoda Pappoe went back to school in 2012 and is set to graduate in December with a degree in health administration and management. His father Lorenzo started in a warehouse and is now in middle management.
“I came from very humble beginnings from a very poor little village in Africa and I was able to go to school, get an education and provide for my family,” said Lorenzo. “We didn’t ask anyone to give us anything of free. We worked really hard and we were able to succeed. I think that helped my kids understand the importance of hard work. The mindset we tried to encourage was the harder you work. the more likely you are to catch a break.”
So far, Owen likes Tennessee the most and he’s attended several camps over the past year too. His dad is adamant that Owen must take school as seriously as he does sports in both high school and college.
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