It’s tough to miss Samson Okunlola on the high school football field. The 2023 5-star offensive tackle from Thayer Academy in Brockton, Massachusetts, checks in at 6-foot-6, 295-pounds and he’s not even a senior in high school at the time of this writing.
He’s a tough player to miss, both because of his size and skill.
Recently speaking with Sportscasting, the big lineman discussed where he’s at the recruiting process and more.
5-star Samson Okunlola is a trendsetter in Massachusetts
It’s not often a superstar recruit comes out of Massachusetts. Plenty of talented players have grown up in The Bay State, of course, but none to date have had the profile of Okunlola. Even his brother, Samuel Okunlola, who signed with the Pittsburgh Panthers as part of their 2022 class, was considered a 3-star prospect.
It’s not thought to have been done before, a 5-star from Massachusetts, but Samson Okunlola takes that, plus all the national attention, in stride.
“I don’t necessarily feel any pressure,” Okunlola told Sportscasting. “More just wanting more out of myself to get better as an athlete and student. It has given me opportunities I thought I would never have.”
“I know many [players] before me could have been 5-stars,” he said, explicitly referencing the caliber of college football recruit to come out of the state. “I’m just bringing more light to Massachusetts. We’ve got players that can ball too.”
With 39 total offers, Okunlola will soon reveal his top teams
Massachusetts may have had some ballers, but few have made the type of splash that Okunlola has as a recruit.
Running back A.J. Dillon is the biggest football name to come out of the state in some time, and though he’s currently a star running back for the Green Bay Packers, he was only ranked as a 3-star recruit coming out of Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts. Sean McKeon played tight end for the University of Michigan and now is with the Dallas Cowboys (two massive brands), but as a recruit, he was also just a 3-star, despite being the second-best player in the state.
Dillon had 17 offers, and he elected to stay in-state and go to Boston College. McKeon had just 12 offers but pounced on the opportunity to go to Michigan, which worked out for him.
Conversely, Okunlola boasts 39 offers to date, and that’s a list that should only grow as he plays his senior season. These aren’t just programs in the region trying to take advantage of him being nearby either.
Notable schools on Okunlola’s offer list include Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pitt, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia, and West Virginia, among others.
That’s a national tour worth of schools that would make a rockstar blush, but again, Okunlola doesn’t seem phased. He’s also in no rush to give his commitment, though he did relay to Sportscasting that he’ll be dropping his top five in May.
“How can you develop me as a player and a student?” he said when asked what he’s looking for in his college football home.
A stable and consistent coaching staff is also something important to the highly sought-after lineman.
Scouting Okunlola as an offensive tackle
Though Okunlola is a two-way player in high school, he told Sportscasting that he’s mainly being recruited as an offensive tackle.
It makes sense too. Players with his combination of size and athleticism don’t come around often. He’s the type of player you park over at left tackle and just assume that your quarterback is protected because he will be. With that said, Okonlola also has the size and power to be an absolute road-grader against the run./
“I’m a very aggressive but also a technical player,” Okonlola said when asked for a self-scout. “My strengths are my feet and my footwork.”
He’s so big and strong it’s almost unfair at the high school level, and he projects to have a sizable advantage as a college football player as well.
He has the type of size, power, and athleticism that you just can’t coach. It’s a combination that already has some, like 247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn, putting early-round NFL Draft potential on him.
To be fair to Okonlola, he still has to play his senior year of high school, so the prospect of following Dillon and McKeon into the NFL should be put on the backburner for now.
That doesn’t mean it’s not possible, though.
According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, which is an industry average ranking based on ratings from the major media recruiting services, Okunlola is the No. 3 offensive tackle in the nation as well as the No. 32 overall 2023 college football recruit.