Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class has already gotten out to a fast start with four commitments and the top-overall ranking nationally. In an effort to expand that, the Bulldogs are back at Grayson, a place where they’ve had a good deal of success.
Owen Pappoe has been long-pursued by Georgia, and it is one of the programs pushing the hardest to land the in-state outside linebacker. Along with Georgia, Pappoe is also in frequent contact with Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State and Nebraska.
“Georgia is 30 minutes from home and that’s the biggest advantage they have,” Pappoe said. “I like how the new staff came together so fast and put together a great recruiting class for 2017.”
The first full recruiting class under head coach Kirby Smart was a successful one, consisting of many of the nation’s top prospects and ranking as the third-best group nationally. A lot of that work came right from Grayson as Georgia landed four-star athlete Deangelo Gibbs, and was in the running for cornerback Jamyest Williams and offensive tackle Tony Gray at one point in time.
Pappoe is one of the next up on that list of current Grayson prospects to potentially head to Athens, and he’s had plenty of contact with the coaching staff.
“Glenn Schumann is the most consistent in terms of contact, and we have a great relationship,” Pappoe said. “I make sure I talk to him at least every other week, and he makes sure I have a great time when I’m in Athens.”
A bold expectation was given to the eventual highly-rated prospect, which gives him a sense that Georgia realizes some significant potential.
“(Schumann) told me that I could be the next Roquan Smith,” Pappoe said.
Smith was one of Georgia’s most productive defensive players in his sophomore campaign, collecting 95 total tackles. By the time the 2019 season comes around, Smith will depart from Athens and Pappoe could potentially enter into a role with the Bulldogs’ linebacking corps.
In two more games and on a lesser field of competition, Pappoe nearly matched those numbers in his sophomore campaign with Grayson, which led to a GHSA 7A state championship. Throughout 15 games, Pappoe collected 90 total tackles, seven sacks, five pass breakups and one interception.
In addition, the rising junior holds 36 offers and is taking unofficial visits nearly every weekend. After visiting Georgia on Feb. 11, Pappoe will visit LSU on March 18 and Ohio State on March 25. There is no clear leader for the Grayson product, and he will not commit to a program until he takes official visits during his senior campaign. The Bulldogs will continue to receive plenty of attention as Pappoe will take an unofficial visit to the G-Day spring game on Apr. 22 and guarantees that Georgia will get an official visit when he narrows down his contenders.
Georgia’s main pitch centers around its new indoor practice facility, which Pappoe said he “likes a lot.” The latest addition shows that the program is on its way to matching others within the conference in the facilities race. Along with that, the fast-growing class in 2019 has caught Pappoe’s eye, in a group containing a rich pool of in-state talent.
“It shows that Georgia may be the move,” Pappoe said. “Savages want to play with savages.”