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Alabama Offers Five-Star OL Dubbed the 'Pancake Honcho'

Class of 2023 offensive lineman Samson Okunlola says he's excited about receiving an offer from the Crimson Tide last week.

Alabama is in the mix for the “Pancake Honcho.” The Crimson Tide’s search for elite offensive linemen in the 2023 class continued last week when it offered Samson Okunlola.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman from Brockton, Mass., has been in regular communication with Alabama offensive line coach Eric Wolford but received the offer from Nick Saban last Friday.

“It means a lot, I was really excited to get the offer,” Okunlola told BamaCentral. “I have been talking to them for a little while. It was one of the big offers I didn’t have yet, so it was good to have it. … I mean, it’s Alabama. They win titles, they’re a great football program. They develop people. It’s just really exciting.”

Okunlola is rated as the No. 3 offensive tackle and No. 31 overall player in the 2023 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. He plays on both sides of the ball for his high school, also serving as a defensive tackle. In addition to football, he is also an accomplished wrestler, winning the New England Independent Sports League title this year.

During his conversation with Saban, Okunlola said the head coach praised him for his footwork and aggression as well as his ability to finish blocks. Alabama added two SI99 offensive linemen in this year’s class in Elijah Pritchett and Tyler Booker but is looking to stock up again at the position next year.

“I see myself as an offensive lineman who could continue the standard for Alabama,” Okunlola said. “I see myself being a great O-lineman and a draft-ready left tackle.”

Alabama production at the offensive line position is one of Okunlola’s biggest draws to the program. The Crimson Tide has produced first-round tackles in each of the past four years in Evan Neal (No. 7 overall, 2022), Alex Leatherwood (No. 17 overall, 2021), Jedrick Wills (No. 10 overall, 2020) and Jonah Williams (No. 11 overall, 2019).

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“I see a bunch of similarities in my athleticism and the technical aspects,” Okunlola said when comparing himself to that bunch. “Alabama develops technique, and Alabama develops the best and has had pretty great players in the last few years.

Okunlola has had a relationship with Wolford since the assistant’s time in Kentucky. He says Alabama’s interest in him has picked up since Wolford joined the team in February.

“He’s a real great coach,” Okunlola said. “I love talking to him because he’s a real straightforward coach.”

Okunlola currently holds offers from 46 programs across the nation. He lists Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Miami, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M as the schools that have stood out the most while stating the recent offer from Alabama throws the Crimson Tide into that mix as well.

While Okunlola hasn’t nailed down a visit date, he said he hopes to travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., next month to check out the Crimson Tide’s campus for the first time.

“The biggest thing I want to see is how the players operate and just talk with the players and how they feel about their coach,” Okunlola said. “Just like really getting to see the people around there and see the environment of being a student.”

Joe Pickren contributed to this report.

Thayer linemen Samson Okunlola (Brockton), right, during a game versus St. Mark's on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.
Thayer linemen Samson Okunlola prepares for a block.
Thayer linemen Samson Okunlola (Brockton), sacks St. Mark's quarterback Tru Styles, during a game on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.