Commitment breakdown: Tennessee lands WR Nathan Leacock
Tennessee is stock-piling talent right now and they just added impressive wide receiver Nathan Leacock. The Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook star has a lengthy offer sheet but ended up picking the Vols over N.C. State, North Carolina, Michigan, West Virginia, Mississippi State, and, Florida.
IN HIS OWN WORDS...
"I really like the area, what they're doing, I know the quarterback, and there are just a lot of good upsides to Tennessee and that's why I picked them," Leacock said. "When I was leaving there, that's kind of where I felt like I was going. The only reason I kind of delayed it a little bit was because my mom couldn't make it up there with me. She was back here coaching the track team. My dad said we shouldn't make any big decisions without mom being there.
"When you look at the SEC, most of the players who start are either on their way to the NFL or playing for a spot to get into the NFL," he said. "Once you've already played the top competition, even in practice, when you get on the field or if you get your shot in the NFL, it's not going to go to your head because you've been playing against that level of talent for all these years.
"Nico and I talked over FaceTime and then I saw him at the Overtime 7v7," said Leacock. "We also had our official visit over the same weekend. I talked to him a lot there and I was just on the phone with him on my over here today. I would say he played a good part for me because, at the end of the day, being a receiver, you need a quarterback.
"I think I fit really well into the offensive scheme because, not only do they showcase my strengths with the fade, post, and hooks concepts, they also showed me how I'd work into the offense with him putting me in different positions to get the ball," he said. "He wants to show my speed, put the ball in my hands, and let me go. Coach Pope can help me evolve my game. He knows there is stuff I'm doing now really well and he knows the stuff I can work on too. We've gone through that and talk about it almost every day. I feel like I'm in a good position with coach Pope and the staff."
WHAT THE VOLS ARE GETTING...
Leacock is a big outside receiver who plays with a physical style. He does a good job fighting for jump balls and he has a great catch radius. Leacock brings good straight line speed to the table as well. He ran a sub-11 second in the 100m in the spring. Leacock doesn't have any problems breaking press coverage and quarterbacks will really like how big (6-foot-4) a target his is for them, especially on crossing routes. His short area quickness and overall route running skills are where he'll see the biggest improvement once he gets on campus. It will be good to gauge his development again this fall.
WHY IT'S BIG FOR TENNESSEE..
Leacock brings some additional size to Tennessee's wide receiver corps. Leacock (6-foot-4), and tight end Ethan Davis (6-foot-5) are all big targets for incoming five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava. The addition of Leacock will also help stabilize the Tennessee receiver corps as well. It wouldn't be surprising to see Tennessee contender for at least one other pass catcher in this class. Leacock confirmed that he'll be graduating early and enrolling at Tennessee early next year.