Allen, Texas offensive tackle Abe Abdelkarim never put much thought into playing college football. In fact, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound prospect had a much more modest goal in mind.
Coming into the season the senior had no varsity experience and simply wanted to make an impact for his high school team. He missed spring ball and there was no guarantee he would even play for Allen, ranked as the No. 1 team in the country.
"I was on varsity (as a junior) but I almost never played," Abdelkarim said. "I was second string but the guy in front of me pretty much played the entire game. This is my last year. I really wanted to get in there and make an impact. Basically I just wanted to be remembered in my coach's head as one of the guys that worked his butt off. Basically a switch just flipped and I started going after it."
After the first few games of the year Abdelkarim's offensive coordinator posted his highlights online and sent the link to quite a few college coaches. In very short time he found himself a popular prospect.
"It pretty much all started coming about three hours after my coach posted my highlight video," he said of the newfound attention. "It was a little bit overwhelming. I really never thought it would happen to me. I know I'm big and everything but I never thought I would be a DI guy.
"I had somewhat of an offer from Tarleton State and Austin College wanted me to come there but I didn't want to play football for a DII or DIII school. I just figured I would be a regular student at another school. Then all of a sudden like nine or ten colleges started calling me. It's surreal."
Abdelkarim has garnered the attention of quite a few schools in the past two weeks and has even picked up his first offer.
"As of right now I'm hearing from Memphis, Louisiana-Monroe, Rice, Cincinnati, Missouri, Nevada and Utah," he said. "Nevada has (offered) and I think Cincinnati is thinking about it. I know Rice wants to but I haven't gotten my SAT scores back yet. I took it last weekend. It was a big surprise when Nevada offered. I didn't really have any colleges looking at me but I guess the switch flipped and it happened."
With the recruiting process literally being brand new to Abdelkarim it is no surprise that he is still open to all suitors. He does admit a couple of possibilities are intriguing though and he will be making his first official visit to Nevada this weekend.
"I don't really know yet because my coach thinks even more schools will want to talk to me after I get my SAT scores back," he said of favorites. "Nevada and Cincinnati are looking good. And Missouri, oh buddy, that would be great. (Allen four-star running back) Jonathan Williams is going there and I already know a guy that goes there. My top three would probably be Cincinnati, Missouri and Nevada."