Ali Kassem, a 6'7" 350lb O-lineman from ASA Junior College (New York), is just flat out enormous. His sheer size is enough for D1 programs to take notice and after a closer look they're realizing he's more than just a big body.
utsa was the first program to offer Ali nearly three weeks ago.
"They (UTSA) caught my attention. They're the first school to offer me and it's great being the first offer. San Antonio sounds like a cool place and looks like a good place to be," said Kassem.
Kassem has never been to Texas, but he should be able to scratch that off the list very soon. He has an official visit set up for the final recruiting weekend, February 1st. Prior to his UTSA visit, he'll be touching down at North Carolina State on January 25th and doesn't have any other visits scheduled.
In the last two weeks, NC State, Akron and Kent State have all offered Ali.
Kassem is set to graduate in May and then transfer. As it currently stands, he will be a 2 for 2 transfer, but could appeal on a personal hardship for an extra year to remain as a sophomore. If he's granted an appeal, he would be a 3 for 3 signee.
He's been at the FBS level before as he started out at Western Michigan. He decided to transfer and in doing so sat out a year from the game. He then enrolled at ASA this past fall and had a bit of rough start. He fought off a battle of Mono and after the first 2 or 3 games the adjustment period smoothed itself out.
On the field, ASA Head Coach Dennis Orlando had nothing but high praise for Ali.
"Ali is a great player. He's a massive guy with quick feet and is very physical. He's as good as we've had here. Is a hard worker and a good kid on top of that," said Orlando.
While Kassem is an all around lineman, his strength is run blocking. His size and strength can simply be overpowering.
Although Kassem does show to be genuinely interested in UTSA, he's approaching the entire process with an open mind and plenty of patience.
"I'm gonna wait and see if I find a school that fit's me just right. I don't know if I will commit to a school or sign on signing day. I might commit to a school, but hold off on signing. Our semester ends on February 4th and I might not be up here at the school to sign. We get two weeks off and don't start back up until February 18th," said Kassem.
It's not that common for O-lineman to have any stats and that's the case with Kassem. One thing he does know for sure is that he did not give up a sack all season.
The 'Runners are looking at him as a tackle. He's played all three spots on the line, tackle, guard and center. His versatility, size, and strength are reasons that his recruiting has picked up as of late and don't be surprised if more offers come his way.