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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Noah Sewell (center) took time at the end of the Opening for a family photo. He's joined here by his parents Gabriel Sewell Sr. and Arlene Sewell. Are the Bulldogs in it for 4-star ILB? His father helps explain that matter.

Gabriel Sewell on Noah Sewell: A father’s take on the elite ILB’s process

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. The play sheet today calls for an interesting conversation with the father of elite ILB target Noah Sewell

FRISCO, Tex. — Gabriel Sewell is a father to not just Noah Sewell, but three other boys in college football right now.

That’s 6-foot-5 Penei Sewell. He was rated as the nation’s No. 2 OG prospect in 2019 before he signed with Oregon. Nephi Sewell, another son, signed with Utah as a 2-star safety in 2017. Gabe Sewell, a 3-star LB in 2015, will be a senior at Nevada this fall.

None of those boys could cover ground like Noah. The 266-pounder has unique abilities on a football field. He was able to time the pro agility drill in 4.13 seconds last week at The Opening finals in Texas. Let’s look at a couple of Georgia targets or recent signees in that test as a means of comparison.

  • Freshman WR (and former 4-star) Dominick Blaylock: 4.00 seconds
  • Freshman ILB (and former 5-star) Nakobe Dean: 4.01 seconds
  • 4-star 2020 CB commitment Jalen Kimber: 4.03 seconds
  • Freshman OLB (and former 5-star) Nolan Smith: 4.08 seconds
  • 4-star 2020 RB target Tank Bigsby: 4.34 seconds

Sewell, who rates as the nation’s No. 4 ATH and No. 43 overall prospect, is an athletic marvel that makes it seem like he has a tractor beam in his sternum to the football. It was a rare sight seeing the clips of him fielding punts one-handed while cradling a ball in his other hand at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge event last month.

His father says that his athleticism is not the only thing folks down here in Georgia need to know.

“My oldest one he’s all business,” Gabriel Sewell said. “Focused. Clearly focused and whatnot. The next one is special in and of himself. Penei was always kind of to himself and whatnot. But then there’s Noah.”

“Noah, I tell you, I think he should go into public relations. I have people who always ask me ‘Will he go far?’ and I tell them I could drop him off in Alaska and he’d be making friends with the chief of any Native American tribe fast and be fine with it. He is unique in that way.”

Sewell has set three of his official visits thus far: Georgia, Oregon and Texas A&M. He told DawgNation out in Texas that he will establish a top 8 on his father’s birthday. That will be July 28. Sewell then hopes to trim that down to a top 5 by the halfway mark of his senior season.

The commitment, he feels, should be in by the end of his senior season.

“I want to take my official visits during the season and go see the games,” Noah Sewell said.

Noah Sewell-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Noah Sewell ranks as the nation’s No. 4 ATH for the 247Sports Composite ratings. It seems like only a matter of time before his unique skill set earns him that coveted 5th star at the ILB spot. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Noah Sewell: Growing up Sewell 

The Sewell brothers tell their own story. This family of athletes has shaped one another. Of course, they picked on or toughened up young Noah on his way up.

“Aw, man,” Gabriel Sewell says being sure to draw out that last word. “He used to get whuuuuuped. But then he had to do what he had to do in that mix to survive.”

They did turn the living room into an improvised steel cage match minus the steel. Iron sharpens iron, right? In this case, it is Sewell sharpens Sewell.

“As far as Noah and his physical skill set, I think he is a combination of all of his brothers.”

That might be the best description yet for Sewell. He is, after all, a guy who catches punts one-handed who feels the best clip on his highlight tape is the one where he hurdles a defender running the ball.

Part Linebacker. Part Tackle. Part Safety. All Athlete. That’s the recipe here.

“Maybe he got so fast by running along with and then running away from his brothers coming,” his father said. “You know? Maybe sink or swim.”

Sewell can definitely swim.

When I saw receivers flood the zone he dropped into during the 7-on-7 tournament at The Opening finals, he’d give them an elbow. Or a bump. There was this one time where he leveled a guy and put him on the ground with an “excuse me” shrug.

Jalen Kimber, the UGA commit, provides a vivid detail.  They were on the same “Savages” team which won that tournament out at The Star in Frisco.

“The guys on the other side started to tell us to tell Noah to stop hitting them,” Kimber said.

Noah Sewell-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Noah Sewell has benefitted from growing up Sewell with three older brothers who are still playing college football. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Do the Bulldogs have a chance with Noah Sewell? 

It certainly appears to me like the Bulldogs would be well-served to look around their ILB room and hunker down to sign just one ILB in this class. That room is stocked with athletes and future Sunday players.

But they don’t have a young man quite like Sewell in that red and black.

There’s the thinking around the recruiting trail that it will be hard to sign Sewell. That is because players of Polynesian descent like Sewell tend to go play where there are other Polynesians.

Sewell won’t look to follow that path. Remember what Gabriel Sewell said in a paragraph north of these words on this page? Alaska? He could be dropped off and be ready to run for Mayor of a small fishing village in a week?

He does look at that. But he makes it sound like an opportunity. Not a reason why not to choose Georgia.

“A little bit,” Noah Sewell said. “Just trying to get more Polynesians out east. I mean you rarely hear it. There’s one at LSU. Breiden Fehoko and then there’s just their new one. Siaka “Apu” Ika. That just committed to LSU. I mean they’re really changing the game out there. They’re really setting a platform for us Polynesian boys to really succeed on.”

His father expanded on that topic. Quite considerably.

Noah doesn’t have to see other Polynesian players at Georgia to truly consider the school.

“That’s not an issue for him,” Gabriel Sewell said. “That’s not an issue for us. We’ve always tried to encourage our kids to get out of their comfort zone. Be uncomfortable. I believe that’s where true progress always happens when you are tested so to speak. Like I said earlier [in regard to public relations] he’d be okay wherever he went. We’d be okay with it.”

“There are a lot of people who have him pegged to go to Oregon. Even though they are high on his board at the end of the day we keep telling him ‘Your brothers will be your brothers no matter what logo is on the side of the helmet. So you do what’s best for you. You make that decision or choice. You make your choice based on what you believe is best for you. I think success is predicated on you being happy where you are at and you doing what you are doing where you are at.”

When did Georgia join the chase for Noah Sewell?

This recruiting chance with Sewell began in the spring. That’s when he was visited by defensive coordinator Dan Lanning and ILBs coach Glenn Schumann.

“That really surprised me,” Noah Sewell said. “That they got [that far] out of their way just to come to see me.”

Georgia then picked up an unofficial visit last month. Sewell got to see what that ILB room is like.

“I really like it,” Sewell said. “It is really a brotherhood in the linebacker room. They are all really comfortable with each other. Every activity they do they bring everybody. Even the walk-ons.”

That was a big unofficial.

“When we got there we didn’t really know what to expect,” Gabriel Sewell said. “But it really blew us out of the water. It exceeded any and all expectations we went in having. Because again we had never been to Georgia. Didn’t know anyone on the coaching staff.”

“The coaching staff was great. The area was great. We enjoyed the people in the people in the building. Which was probably the most important thing for Noah.”

Sewell’s dream is to play at ILB. It sounds like they both want to play him at ILB and OLB. His unique skills set allows him to do that.

Will Kirby Smart have to step in and settle this matter. The message there is a lot simpler than that.

“Come,” Gabriel Sewell said in relation to Smart’s message. “Come. He says come. Come.”

His father believes that Noah will make his college decision based on feel.

“Although academics are going to be important to him it is going to be about the people in the building and where those people are taking that program and how well of a ride he’s going to go on.”

Noah Sewell-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Noah Sewell has set up three official visits. Georgia, Oregon and Texas A&M so far. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

The other novel things to know about Noah Sewell

His father is the spokesman of sorts for all things on Noah. But he’s simply that. The public relations guy right now for his son. The son who he feels has a future in public relations, too.

“We’re letting him drive the bus,” Gabriel Sewell said. “He’s earned the right to kind of sit in the driver’s seat with his recruiting process.”

Those three officials are the only ones that he has locked in. That shows how far the Bulldogs have progressed since that spring practice trip out to Utah.

“I’d advised him we are not going to use an official visit on someone who is not going to be a contender,” Gabriel Sewell said. “I don’t think that’s respectful to the program, the coaches or to himself. It is not a good way to use his time when he could be actually looking into something he is really interested in.”

“So as far as that question, yeah, Georgia is pretty up there for him.”

The Sewell family is hoping to use that official visit for the Notre Dame game.

This is an interesting young man. From an interesting family. He has a game and an athletic set that is someone that this correspondent simply does not see a lot on the recruiting trail. If at all.

Georgia has certainly never recruited a player like Sewell before. Not with that size and speed and overall short-space quickness and elite athleticism.

It is too simplistic to say he plays like a 260-pound future NFL Hall of Famer in Troy Polamalu. When that topic came up, his father had a very old school answer.

He thought of an SEC legend that racked up eight sacks in a single game for Alabama.

“I’d like to say an old school Derrick Thomas there,” his father said. “But he came off the edge. But he’s a bigger back than that. With some wheels. Who can move.”

Sewell is just 17. He is beginning to shed off a lot of that baby fat that most athletes do. Especially on a 260-pound frame. The ideal college weight for an ILB here might be 250-255 pounds.

It is hard to imagine him getting even quicker. But he can do that. It seems possible with an elite college program that will maximize his fitness and nutrition along with his overall strength and conditioning.

This is also an interesting kid off the field. He likes to dabble in music. Sewell will play the piano and even the ukelele a little bit.

“He messes around with it,” Gabriel Sewell said. “Noah likes to draw. Likes a lot of that you know how they do that with edits and something like that, too. He likes to work on things like that aside from just football.”


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