Mustapha Muhammad, a four-star tight end from Ridge Point High School in Texas, is quickly becoming one of the most sought after recruits in the class of 2018. After just one year of playing varsity football, Muhammad already has 22 offers including multiple high-profiles schools like FSU, Clemson, Ohio state and Alabama. While no school in particular stands out to Muhammad right now, this is a dream come true for him.
"It's been a blessing to me, having so many opportunities to expand my future and play a game I love," he said. "All of my offers are from D1, high majors schools so I feel like they are the best possible offers you could have."
Although he currently does not have a list, Muhammad did get an idea of what he wants in a school while visiting schools with his friend Marvin Wilson, the number three player in the class of 2017. These visits, during his freshman year, gave Muhammad his first real exposure to college football, he said. They gave him "an example of college football behind the scenes," and he fell in love with it, he added.
In whatever school he does decide to play at, there are a few things specifically that Muhammad is looking for. He wants "a school that has one of the top educational programs in the country," and a program that utilizes their tight ends on the field, he said. The biggest factor he is looking for is a school that could "make [him] a better person and athlete," he added. According to Muhammad, who said he wants to study business, Clemson "seems to be exactly what [he] wants in a school." He is being recruiting by coach Danny Pearman, the tight ends coach, for the Tigers.
On the field, it is not hard to see what has made Muhammad so coveted as a prospect. He describes his playing style as "skilled, with a lot of potential," and he has a win-everything mentality coupled with a natural feel to the game that stems from his wealth of experience at the tight end position, which he has been playing since second grade.
"I have to win every single snap," he said, regarding his on-field mentality. "Every single play I'm giving 110 percent."
In addition to his mentality, Muhammad, who is 6-feet-4-inches tall and 213 lbs. at 15, says his "size, speed, athleticism, footwork and hands," are what sets him apart from other players. To stay on an elite level, Muhammad runs routes with teammates and catches balls without gloves after school, along with working with a personal trainer to keep his athleticism up, he said.
He did acknowledge that he needs to work on improving his strength and blocking skills, but he has been getting into the weight room to improve these skills, he said.
One day Muhammad hopes to be able to play in the NFL, but for now the goal is to win a state championship next season.
"I had my first varsity season last year and we were state semifinalists," he said. "We lost the game to go to states so this upcoming season so we have a lot of passion to get further than we were last year."
This desire to win matches up with what Muhammad calls his motivation: success.
"Success is my motivation and football is a gateway for me to expand my future," he said.