Etta-Etta Tawo has traveled a long distance for his football scholarship. After immigrating to the United States before his sixth grade year, Tawo immediately picked up football. He wasn’t sure exactly what the sport entailed, though his uncle gave him an idea on the phone.
Six years later, the now 6-foot-4 285-pound Tawo’s talent for the game is undeniable. He was an all-district defensive tackle last season at Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern, and this year, he will be doubling as an offensive lineman for his high school team. Colleges from all across the country have been pursuing him because of his talents, but Tawo is ready to deliver some bad news to large number of them.
“I have my list down to a top three,” Tawo said. “I am looking at Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Stanford. I am pretty sure that I will go to one of those schools.”
Obviously, in that group, Stanford is the outlier. Georgia and Georgia Tech are an easy day’s drive from Tawo’s doorstep. Stanford is a trans-continental flight. For Tawo, who has come so far for his opportunity, a long distance commitment might be worth the Stanford degree he would get in return.
“It is all about the education that Stanford can give to you. They have such a huge reputation. My parents have heard that it is one of the best schools in America, and possibly the world. So they really want me to look hard at the education.”
Even thought Stanford’s academic reputation is indisputable, Georgia and Georgia Tech will have academic selling points of their own. In fact, the academic reputations of the two schools have vaulted them into the top three, according to Tawo.
“Really, you have to look at the reputations of Georgia and Georgia Tech, and what they can provide for you. Also, those two schools are close to home, and that is an important thing to me. I would prefer it that way. They both have really good football programs as well.”
Now that he has his list down to three, Tawo says that he will step back from the recruiting process for a while. Many colleges are still trying to recruit Tawo, giving him enough literature to keep him busy for the coming weeks.
“A lot of colleges are sending those thick books, the bulletins. I really need to read through those. I also want to set up some visits to see games that I have been invited to. I don’t know if I will take any official visits until after the season. I should be pretty busy with the season.”
Tawo says that he is still trying to enjoy recruiting, even though he has already narrowed his options. If it seems that Tawo takes nothing for granted, it is because none of this attention was expected.
“When I first started playing, I had no idea about any of this. My uncle had described the game on the phone, but that was it. It really didn’t hit me that I would get to go to college for free until last winter. I made all-district and teams started to contact me.
“Before I moved here, I knew nothing about it, and now I will be playing college.”