The 2019 class is officially on the clock and with the early Signing Period just about nine months away and the first opportunity for prospects to take official visits coming this spring, it’s time for recruiting fans from across the country to start familiarizing themselves with the class of 2019.
We at Rivals.com are here to help. Over the next two weeks, we will introduce the top five players at each position in the class. Today we take a look at outside linebacker.
Breakdown: Pappoe started picking up offers when he was still in middle school, so he’s been familiarizing himself with programs for years. He recently declared Georgia as his No. 1 school with Auburn and Tennessee appearing to be the No. 2 and No. 3 positions respectively. Pappoe will start taking his official visits next month, with a trip to Texas already on the books. While he’s likely to take trips around the country, it’s hard to see him leaving the Southeast. The question is, can the Tigers and Vols close the gap on the Dawgs or is it already too late?
Breakdown: One of the top players in the state of Mississippi in a historic year for talent in the state, Dean is high on the list of several programs in the Southeast. Obviously Ole Miss and Mississippi State both feel like they have a realistic shot to land him and it’s not often that a player of his caliber slips out of the state. However, when they do, it’s usually because Alabama or LSU is involved. Both of those schools like their chances with Dean, and with a visit to Baton Rouge set for this weekend, it’s clear the Tigers are a player. Stanford is an interesting wildcard after extending an offer recently.
Early contenders: Alabama (committed)
Breakdown: While several schools are holding out hope that they can get Mwikuta on campus, he made a pledge to the Tide in December and hasn’t wavered since. He recently took a visit to Tuscaloosa and despite primary recruiter Derrick Ansley departing the Tide for an NFL job, Mwikuta hasn’t set up any other visits. The fact that he has essentially shut things down is a good sign for the Tide, but things can always change and that’s why some of college football’s other top programs won’t be giving up anytime soon.
Breakdown: A longtime USC commit, Floyd backed off his pledge to USC in December and has been exploring his options ever since. He recently released a top seven which excluded the Trojans, catching many by surprise. While he said he’s moving on, you never know if the two sides me reconcile at some point. In the meantime, other programs are taking advantage, namely Texas, which impressed Floyd on a recent visit. UCLA and Oregon are also commonly mentioned as serious contenders for Floyd, who is likely to let his recruitment play out for quite a while before making another commitment.
Breakdown: A standout in the classroom as well as on the football field, Ekwonu has an eclectic list of options. The early favorite by far is the Irish, who have already hosted Ekwonu on several unofficial visits, including during a game weekend last fall. But Ohio State is also in the mix and expected to get a visit soon, while programs like Duke and Northwestern like their chances because of their combination of quality athletics and academics. If Ekwonu can get all the visits he has planned during the spring, he could be in line for an early commitment.