Wide receiver Carlos Burse and quarterback Joshua Dobbs have already emerged as two prospects to watch in the 2013 class, and both were able to showcase their talents last month during the Rising Seniors' annual Georgia Junior Bowl. But another Raider had an impressive junior season, and colleges have taken notice.
Defensive end Naim Mustafaa (Alpharetta, Ga./Alpharetta) made 51 tackles, 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss last year en route to All-Region honors for 6-AAAAA. Missouri, Middle Tennessee, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech have offered, and Mustafaa says a couple others could be close.
“Nick Saban, Mike Gundy from Oklahoma State, Coach [Rodney] Garner from Georgia and came to see me last week,” Mustafaa said. “I think Oklahoma State and Georgia are close to offering.”
While the 6-foot-4, 235-pound prospect is still in shock over meeting the head coach of the national champion Crimson Tide, there is another program that Mustafaa is hoping to earn an offer from.
“I have always liked Georgia growing up,” Mustafaa said. “I like their program and I watch them every Saturday. An offer from them would mean a lot to me because I have looked up to guys who have played for the Bulldogs.”
Mustafaa has ties to one former Georgia player, defensive lineman Kiante Tripp, and several athletes in his family have played at the next level. Tripp, who has spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns this year, played with Naim’s older brother Charles Mustafaa at Westlake. Charles signed with Kentucky and later starred at Jackson State in football and baseball. Their father, Najee Mustafaa, was a defensive back at Georgia Tech and played in the NFL for seven years. Their cousin, Derek Smith, played basketball at Louisville and in the NBA, and another cousin, Tray Rutland, played football at Mississippi State.
Naim's passion for the gridiron is surpassed only by his hatred of defeat, which could be a big reason Alpharetta went 9-2 last year and won its first regional title in school history.
“I love football, and I love getting tackles for loss and sacks,” Mustafaa said. “Two things I do not like are losing or being scored on, so I chase the ball down a lot. I go up against a lot of double teams, especially in a 3-man front.”
Mustafaa plans to attend a junior day at Oklahoma State next weekend, as well as another at Alabama in February.