Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss the nation’s top outside linebacker, Owen Pappoe, who made an official visit to LSU earlier this month and has said he will announce his college decision on May 1.
LSU’s push for Owen Pappoe ahead of May 1 commitment
Owen Pappoe grabbed headlines for a multitude of reasons Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, N.C.
For one, the nation’s consensus top-ranked outside linebacker posted testing numbers that put him in rarified air. Company: himself. Pappoe, a 6-foot-1, 209-pound prospect, clocked a 4.47-second 40 and a 4-second shuttle; tossed the power ball 45 feet; and recorded a 40-inch vertical jump.
Not too shabby.
Additionally, the 5-star prospect from Peach State powerhouse Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) High School clarified when he will be committing. That’s May 1, according to DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell, who reported the decision likely will be aired on local TV networks.
Sentell said he expects Pappoe to decide between Georgia and Auburn, two SEC schools that the media has declared the favorite at different junctures in the linebacker’s recruitment. Pappoe, who rocked LSU gloves during Nike’s The Opening combine, also has the Tigers in the mix as he attempts to add a rather large dose of mystery into his upcoming decision.
“I really have an idea of who it is going to be,” said Pappoe, who also stated that he does not have a current leader.
Pappoe, who in addition to wearing LSU gloves was sporting a Georgia backpack and zip-up windbreaker over the weekend, is believed to making return visits to Athens, Ga., and Auburn, Ala., before the May 1 decision date.
Auburn hosted Pappoe and 4-star teammate Wanya Morris in the week leading up to their LSU official visit. That was a three-day unofficial trip, which helped sway favor in the Tigers’ direction. SEC Country Auburn reporter Ben Wolk received word that Auburn had made its move for the 5-star linebacker, a sentiment echoed by sources on the LSU side while Pappoe was in Baton Rouge.
Nonetheless, Georgia and Auburn will be vying to be the team when Pappoe makes a decision in two weeks. LSU remains squarely in the picture. In fact, Pappoe went on the record indicating that LSU sits No. 3 behind Georgia and Auburn, which is important to note because Pappoe will not shut down his recruitment after his original commitment and will continue to make visits across the country.
“I had a really good time at LSU,” Pappoe said of his April 6-8 official visit. “I will say this. LSU is in the mix.”
“That’s really the perfect fit for me,” he added. “It really is. I see it now. Coach [Dave] Aranda is really more of a teacher than a coach. He is one of the smartest coaches I have ever talked to in the game. The way he teaches. The way he develops all his players. They have a whole bunch of linebackers in the league. I think if I went there, I would be really successful.”
Despite the impression Aranda made on Pappoe, do not expect an LSU cap on the table when Pappoe announces his intentions at the beginning of next month.
Only Georgia and Auburn have been connected as a possible destination. LSU, in theory, is sitting third behind those SEC rivals, and Pappoe’s recent trip to Baton Rouge is just a third layer of mystery added into what should be a close decision.
“I have said that Georgia is my top school,” Pappoe said. “They are. People say that Auburn is coming into the picture. I guess so … Everybody thinks that I am going to go to Georgia. I will just let everybody think what they want to think. They will see May 1.”
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