The Sabbs’ Success
One of the most sought-after college football recruits in the class of 2022 started his journey right here in South Jersey.
Gloucester County to be exact.
Keon Sabb is ranked 8th in 247Sports’ Class of 2022 national rankings, 22nd in ESPN’s Junior 300 and 47th in the 2022 Rivals250 Prospect Ranking.
“It's a dream come true, Sabb said. “I have been thinking about it since I was a kid and now that it's coming true it's just ridiculous.”
Sabb began playing football at five years old for Glassboro Midget Football. His high school career began at Glassboro High School before transferring to perennial South Jersey Group 5 power Williamstown High School.
His family tree has experienced extensive success on the gridiron.
“Football is big in our family,” Keon’s father, Antoine, said. “My younger brother, Timmy Breaker, played at Glassboro High and the University of Delaware. I’m the President of Glassboro Midget Football (and) all of Keon’s uncles played high school football. My daughter played basketball at Gloucester Catholic (and) earned a Division 2 scholarship to Holy Family University.”
As of October 2020, Sabb boasted an astonishing 32 offers according to 247 Sports, including scholarship offers from perennial college football powers Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Oklahoma and Florida among others. Both 247Sports and ESPN have Sabb rated as the top junior in New Jersey.
“Keon’s best traits are his work ethic and determination,” his father said. “He has a ton of potential with his athleticism, size and speed.”
When asked about his college interests following a 21-0 victory over Timber Creek on October 3, the highly-touted recruit responded with a collection of prestigious institutions.
“Ohio State, Clemson, Penn State, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Florida State, Florida, schools like that,” Keon said. I probably talk to them once a week, twice a week -- mostly (through) just Facetimes and (phone) calls. Some schools I talk to more.”
That prestigious list grew in length, and significance, with a recent offer from Alabama. Sabb announced the scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide via Twitter on January 31.
The offer was followed by offers from Miami (FL), Michigan and North Carolina.
“I’m very thankful, Keon said. “It's a blessing to receive an offer from Coach Saban and his staff -- number one team in the nation, several national championships. I have been prepared for this. My family keeps me humble.”
The junior announced via Twitter that he would be transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida on February 3. IMG Academy is a national powerhouse that tends to elevate the potential of its finest athletes.
“IMG’s staff has next level experience that will help me a lot with preparation,” Keon said. “(I’m going to) watch a ton of film, continue to get stronger and faster (and) continue to be a student of the game.”
The highly-recruited safety/wide receiver flourished in his short tenure at Williamstown.
Sabb’s impact was felt immediately in the Braves’ opening night 21-0 win over Timber Creek on October 3. Late in the second quarter, the junior lined up on the left side and perfectly executed a jet sweep for a 2-yard rushing touchdown -- his first touchdown as a member of the Williamstown High School football team. The score gave the Braves a 14-0 cushion at halftime.
“It was big,” Sabb said. “A lot of love came from my teammates. They were waiting for me to get my first one and it just felt great.”
The momentum continued as Williamstown stormed to three more consecutive wins to start the season 4-0 and sat atop the South Jersey Sports Zone Top 15 football rankings for five weeks.
After losses to Saint Augustine Prep and Millville, Williamstown bounced back with a 14-13 win over Hammonton before avenging their loss to the Hermits with a 6-0 victory on November 27.
The Braves resurgence continued with a 28-6 thumping of Ocean City -- a game that was called at halftime due to COVID-19 concerns -- to conclude the season on a 3-game winning streak.
Williamstown finished the season with a 7-2 record and climbed back to fourth in the final South Jersey Sports Zone Top 15 football rankings of the season.
Keon finished the season with 19 receptions for 358 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, Sabb recorded 19 total tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup. The junior was named a 2020 South Jersey Sports Zone All-South Jersey Second Team offense selection.
Keon isn’t the only one successfully carrying on the family tradition. His younger brother, Amari Sabb, received an offer from Penn State.
Here’s the stunning part: Amari is only in seventh grade.
“It was very special to me,” Amari said, when asked how it felt to receive the offer. “I attended a white-out game vs Michigan -- I got to see it close-up. When they offered, I was hype. My parents tell me, ‘stay hungry, keep grinding.’”
Scholarship offers in middle school are rare, but it isn’t an unfamiliarity in the Sabb household. Keon received his first offer from Baylor in eighth grade.
“I got my first offer in eighth grade,” Keon said. “He’s (Amari) head and shoulders past me at that age. It’s crazy. It’s just amazing to see my brother getting the credit he deserves. My dad and my uncle were my role models. I just gotta take what they taught me and apply it to him.”
The brotherly-competition between the two is unmatched. Their father insists that the two are constantly pushing each other to work hard and get better. They compete against each other no matter the situation. More importantly, the two have a special bond and are each other’s biggest supporter.
“Keon and Amari compete a lot at home,” Antoine said. “Video games, basketball -- Keon set the bar for Amari. They are also each other's biggest fans -- tons of brotherly love. Three boys push each other in one house.”
For the Sabb brothers, the sky's the limit. Their father couldn’t be prouder of their continued success.
“It’s an honor,” Antoine said. “They love playing the game of football. It’s great to see your kids have success at what they love to do.”
South Jersey Sports Zone (SJSZ) was co-founded by Kevin Emmons in 2017. The brand covers high school sports and promotes South Jersey pride. If you'd like to keep up with SJSZ, find them on Facebook and Twitter.
(Photo Credit: Kevin Emmons)