Avantae Williams, a 2020 athlete and Miami commit from Deland (Fla.), claims an offer from Alabama. He committed to the Hurricanes earlier this month. Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have also offered.
Alabama's Making a Push for Super Sophomore Owen Pappoe
THE LATEST: Owen Pappoe started picking up scholarship offers before he started high school. He quickly became one of the top recruits in the state of Georgia and he has only gotten better as a player.
Very early in the recruiting process, when he was a freshman, and even early into his sophomore year, Tennessee was perceived as the frontrunner for Pappoe.
The 6-foot-2, 202 pound linebacker out of Loganville (Ga.) Grayson picked up the offer from the Volunteers early. He has tripped to Knoxville (Tenn.) numerous times over the last 18 months and Tennessee is still high on his list, but when digging behind the scenes, it is another SEC school who has captured the momentum.
Pappoe is not ready to go on record and call Alabama his leader, but he admits the Crimson Tide are making a big push.
"Alabama has just turned up the heat on me and they really want me to be a part of their program," said Pappoe. "I am always talking to coach [Tosh] Lupoi (outside linebackers) and coach [Jeremy] Pruitt (defensive coordinator). I have a great relationship with both of them and they are coming after me hard."
The sophomore is such a special athlete and he could project at a few different positions on the next level. Alabama has discussed his versatility with him already.
"They really see me fitting into their defense many different ways. They really like my size and speed, and that could see me playing their Money linebacker position, their inside linebacker position or even lining up at safety for them."
Pappoe was recently at Georgia and he "enjoyed" his time in Athens (Ga.). The Bulldogs along with the Volunteers, Clemson, Florida State and many others are still in the picture, but Alabama may be the one with the most buzz right now.
Do not look for a commitment from Pappoe any time soon. He plans to take his time with the process. He plans to visit Tuscaloosa (Ala.) again in March. Pappoe has already visited T-Town close to 10 times.
IN HIS OWN WORDS: "I always get good vibes from Alabama. When I am over there, they make me feel at home."
RIVALS REACTION: This race is far from over, but Alabama seems to have taken over the top spot for Pappoe based on what I am hearing behind the scenes. Georgia has made up some ground and Tennessee will always be in this race, but the connection Pappoe has with the Alabama coaches, the way they have developed players like him and how the two guys recruiting him for the Crimson Tide are two of the best in the industry have put 'Bama in a good spot for one of the best in 2019.
Rivals.com has spent the week breaking down each position to see which school did the best on Signing Day 2017. Today, we take a look at the programs that finished the cycle with the best hauls of offensive linemen.
The class: Alex Leatherwood (five-star), Jedrick Wills (five-star), Elliot Baker (five-star), Kendall Randolph (four-star), Hunter Brannon (three-star)
Analysis: Alabama’s offensive line class is as good as it gets. The group includes three five-star prospects (two from the high school ranks and one from a California-based junior college). Florida product Leatherwood headlines the group and illustrates Alabama’s ability to go into Florida and snatch one of the most coveted prospects in the state – a feat that has never been easy. There’s a reason the Tide’s 2017 class ranked first in the country, and this group is a massive part of it. Nick Saban landed offensive linemen from four different states this cycle and all five of the program’s signees stand 6-foot-4 or taller.
The class of 2017 is signed and sealed, so as we look back on how programs did, we thought it would be interesting to rank the best 1-2 punches at each position.
Today we take a look at the offensive line.
Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills
The skinny: Alabama is never afraid to line up man-to-man on the line and run the ball down the opposing team’s throats. Adding the No. 1 tackle, Leatherwood, and the No. 5 tackle, Wills, should further continue this philosophy in Tuscaloosa.
Farrell’s take: Wills could end up being a guard, so this is a good combination that is just shy of Stanford’s pull, but not by much. Leatherwood could be the next massive tackle at ‘Bama following DJ Fluker and Cam Robinson, and Wills could be the most versatile tackle in this class.
Jalen Cunningham was sick with the flu on Friday, but got a huge piece of news to brighten his day. Cunningham, a massive defensive tackle from St. Clair County, earned an offer from Alabama. He was under the radar and currently unranked by recruiting services, but that will change soon.