Aliou Bah-Georgia football recruiting-UGA football recruiting
Aliou Bah is a senior offensive lineman at IMG Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Aliou Bah: How Georgia flipped a stout OL signee from FSU in the 2022 class

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry offers a detailed profile of one of the more under-the-radar signees of Georgia’s 2022 signing class. That’s 4-star OL Aliou Bah. He moved from his native Tennessee to play two seasons at IMG Academy before signing with UGA in December.

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There is more than one story that comes to mind with 4-star Georgia OL signee Aliou Bah. (The phonetics there are AH-Lou and Bah. Kind of like “Bah Humbug” of Christmas lore.)

The first one to share involves another #Bo22Moves signee.

He was down at IMG Academy with a pair of future teammates in “Big Bear” Alexander and Daylen Everette.

Bah decommitted from FSU on Oct. 16. He committed to Georgia on Oct. 18. That very next day, he lined up near Alexander. The new Georgia commit had something to say.

“I was like ‘Slide Bear’ and ‘Slide to Georgia Bear’ and ‘Come on home’ to him at practice that day,” Bah said in a DawgNation interview during his senior year. “I committed to Georgia on a Monday. Then I was talking to Bear that Tuesday.”

“Bear” did slide. He committed to the Bulldogs for good on Oct. 21.

Bah was already that invested for a young man who flipped publicly just three days prior. The intriguing part was that Bah kept that flip on the low for some time.

He told DawgNation last fall he was pretty much set on Georgia after he visited in the summer.

“I had real feelings for Georgia after my second summer visit,” Bah said last fall. “I went there on my official on June 18th and the weekend after that I went there on my unofficial. I kind of knew then, but when I went there for the third visit for the Arkansas game I just knew.”

“I saw the atmosphere there at Sanford Stadium. College Gameday was there. I saw how the O-line played and how the whole team player there as a unit. I was like ‘I have got to be a part of this.’ I loved the atmosphere and just wanted to be a part of it.”

His family also echoed that sentiment after an IMG game this fall.

“He just committed to Georgia,” his godfather Danny Elliott said on October 22. “But we’ve been committed to Georgia since June. We went down there for the official visit. It just blew us away. The attention given to the athletes was special.”

“We went in June. I was flipped then to Georgia. Not sure how much he was. But I was. I was saying ‘Go ‘Dawgs’ when I left Georgia.”

That just goes to show what kind of young man Bah is. He’s solid. Not just because he rated as the nation’s No. 29 OT and the No. 358 overall recruit (247Sports Composite) in the 2022 cycle.

The Tennessee native graduated from high school in December and enrolled in January with 17 other signees in the 2022 Georgia class.

Aliou Bah is a senior offensive lineman at IMG Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

More than recruiting: The really good story to know about Aliou Bah

Bah thinks things through. He has a plan in mind.

Then when the time comes for action, he goes after it with his full heart. Those seem like sterling qualities for a future road grader in Athens.

The thing is Bah is a great deal more than that. The Alexander story is a tasty vignette for DawgNation, but there is a purposeful young man behind this 4-star ranking.

“God blessed me,” Bah said in 2021. “God blessed me with this size, this ability and this talent. I just want to be able to take advantage of it. I see it as a platform, honestly, to show my bigger purpose and have the influence to make a change in the world.”

“I’m just using football to get me to where I want to be in life.”

He’s been thinking of two possible majors: Business and journalism.

Bah has the faculties to do both. He’s also low-key funny when he’s not trying to be and speaks with intelligence.

“I use a quote when I want to tell folks what I am all about,” Bah said while unlocking the screen on his phone.

He keeps a bank of motivational and inspirational quotes there. That’s a novel use for a smartphone.

“I save these a lot,” he said. “This one from Eric Thomas stands out. ‘Only those who are willing to risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.’ I feel like that relates to me. From going away from home. Going to IMG. Decommitting from Florida State. Going to Georgia. I’m seeing how far I can go. I’m testing my limits. Taking risks to get rich.”

Bah is certainly driven. That shows the maturity he’s gained since early in high school when he wanted to give up basketball and football.

“He said he wanted to be a rapper,” his godfather Danny Elliott said. “I said ‘Listen son just hang in there for me and give me one more year and I promise you that your Momma won’t have to worry about paying for your college and your school. Football would pay for it.”

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Aliou Bah is a senior offensive lineman at IMG Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

The Intel cache on Georgia freshman OL Aliou Bah

The 6-foot-6, 330-pounder was seen by former Georgia line coach Matt Luke as a guard. That was after he worked out for Georgia over the summer.

Luke knew Bah as a prospect in the Memphis area when he was at Ole Miss. Bah actually shares the same birthday as former Ole Miss great Michael Oher. Oher’s story was the movie inspiration for “The Blind Side.”

What kind of worker is Bah? He’s the sort that when he comes home for a break he can be found working out in the closet park near his home. In the dark.

Friends will call him “Lou” or “Big Lou” once they know him. The family already knows him as “Big Lou.”

The Bulldog freshman plays a physical brand of football. He likes to get his hands on the defender and stop them at the point of attack.

He said it was “really hard” to flip from FSU because of the relationship he developed with FSU offensive line coach Alex Atkins. Akins just got promoted to offensive coordinator for the Seminoles.

The early part of the season was key here.

“Before the season started I was looking for improvement across the board,” Bah said of FSU in late October. “Especially in the offensive line category. They started off struggling a little bit, but the last two games they played were wins. But overall I just couldn’t see myself going there and then Georgia was pushing for me hard along with a couple of other schools like Texas and Florida. I just feel like Georgia was home. It fits me. Being able to compete. Being a ‘Dawg really.”

The interesting part about that FSU pledge was his family never copped any merchandise for the program.

“When I went on my official, well they did that at the Georgia bookstore,” Bah said. “They were already Georgia down then. They were already in that team spirit.”

There’s another good story on Bah. It winds time back to his tenth-grade year at Whitehaven High School on Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis.

“At the beginning of his tenth-grade year, his coach was like he’s still not giving it all to us,” Elliott said. “Still not giving it his best effort. They were saying he was being lazy and this and that.”

Bah was asked why. His answer was simple. His feet hurt.

“We bought him some $35 insoles to put in his shoes and he went out and made All-State,” Elliott said.

It really was that simple.

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Aliou Bah is a senior offensive lineman at IMG Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

‘Dawgs sharpen ‘Dawgs: Why “Big Lou” had to go to Georgia

Bah visited UGA three times after all the colleges opened back up on June 1 last year. That included his official visit.

“I loved it every single time,” Bah said. “The hospitality. The program. The coaches. The fans.”

He rattled off strong relationships with Kirby Smart, Eddie Gordon, former coach Matt Luke and Director of Recruiting Relations David Cooper.

“They were the number one team in the country,” Bah said. “I love competing. Being in the SEC. Big-time football. Can’t lose with Georgia. The reason I came to IMG was to compete, get better and be the best version of myself. That’s the same reason why I chose to play for Georgia.”

Bah said he needed that work that he knew he would get at Georgia. Practices would be harder than games.

He would have to fight to see any significant playing time in his first two seasons at Georgia.

“It changed my mindset knowing I was going to Georgia,” Bah said. “Knowing I had to go even harder and keep raising my game. The type of situation I am coming into is what a competitor needs. Dominant school. Dominant players. Then a high level of competition in the conference. It is better for me. Knowing I have to constantly keep trying to elevate where I stand. It will make me a much better player in the long run.”

Aliou Bah is a senior offensive lineman at IMG Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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