When Yannick Ngakoue transferred from Carroll to Friendship Collegiate last winter, he arrived on his new campus with “two or three” scholarship offers, according to Friendship coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim. A year later, and after considering what Abdul-Rahim estimates to be “30 to 40” offers considered this fall, Ngakoue will choose from Maryland, South Carolina and Florida State on National Signing Day on Wednesday.
One of those programs will be acquiring an electric player, one who transformed himself into a high-level recruit between his junior and senior season, Abdul-Rahim said. He was able to add weight without losing speed, and move in and out of the defensive end and linebacker positions without losing effectiveness.
And for the second consecutive season, Abdul-Rahim will be sending off a hyped recruit who went the full distance in the recruiting race. Last year, offensive lineman Eddie Goldman chose Florida State during a festive morning ceremony at Friendship, ending a fierce three-year recruitment process. The pursuit of Ngakoue hasn’t been quite as exhausting, Abdul-Rahim said, but he expects eight other players to sign Football Bowl Series or Football Championship Subdivision letters of intent on Wednesday, which is more than last year’s class at the school. Nonetheless, Ngakoue’s decision will be among the most anticipated in the region.
“Yannick kind of, just, blew up,” Abdul-Rahim. “People were on the radar with him, but not like right now.”
Ngakoue has kept a low profile the last several weeks, but publicly told the Post last month that all three schools “were pretty equal right now.” He verbally committed to Maryland last June, alongside Friendship offensive lineman prospect Derwin Gray and linebacker Cavon Walker, but pulled out of that pledge a few months later and re-opened his recruitment heading into his senior season.
Ngakoue, a first-team All-Met selection, posted 17 sacks and returned two fumbles for touchdowns, and he led the school to the inaugural DCSAA championship. Ngakoue also played in the Under Armour All-American game.
“He was used a little differently over here. He played more stand-up, outside backer as opposed to defensive end at Carroll,” Abdul-Rahim said. “That really helped more than anything, when coaches and schools were allowed, you know, able to see him standing up and move around in space.”
Following an official visit to Maryland in December, Ngakoue took official visits to South Carolina and Florida State in January, and all three fan bases have been vocal with their pitches on Ngakoue’s Twitter feed in an effort to lure the high school senior.
“A lot of potential,” Abdul-Rahim said.