3-star JUCO OT speaks with Saban, high on UA

Alabama is in pursuit of offensive tackles in the class of 2016 and the junior college pool is very much in play. On Wednesday, Nick Saban spoke to one of the best in Tate Leavitt and an official visit is being set up.

Originally from Ohio, class of 2016 junior college prospect Tate Leavitt has amassed quite the offer list heading into visit season, with Alabama, Arizona State, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, Missouri and TCU on it, among others.

The spring evaluation period has brought several coaches from these schools to Hutchinson (Kans.) Community College, but head coaches are not permitted to be on campus at this time. While Alabama has been by the school, the Crimson Tide’s Nick Saban still made it a point to speak to one of his top offensive line targets on Wednesday.

It was Leavitt’s firs time speaking to Saban.

"It was exciting!” he said. “It was very special, not everyone gets to talk to coach Saban. There aren’t to many coaches out there like him, either.

“He said that I have a great opportunity at Alabama to succeed as a player, an athlete and in the real world after my playing career is over.”

Alabama, which covets the three-star as a tackle prospect, is attempting to set up a Tuscaloosa visit sometime near the end of May or perhaps early June. It would likely be an official visit. Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, Missouri and Illinois are likely to host him unofficially during a summer swing along with possible trips to Ohio State, Penn State, West Virginia an Louisville.

But it’s UA and Illinois among his early favorites, he says.

“Right now, I want to see what everyone has to offer, but I’d say I do like Alabama and Illinois,” Leavitt said. “I want to see what others have to offer before throwing anyone else in there.”

Of the reigning SEC champions, the rising-sophomore admits he can see himself on campus.

“Their resume of coaches and getting the best out of their players speaks for itself,” he said of Alabama. “And their culture is something I think I can strive in.

“All of this is a dream turning into reality!”

Leavitt has three seasons to play two at the next level and he’s eligible to enroll at a four-year institution in January.

“Leavitt has great size for the offensive tackle position,” Scout.com JUCO Analyst Derek Young said. “The strength and power is readily apparent as he drives downfield on his blocks very well. He's very natural at sliding to the right to down block. He does a great job at getting inside the defensive linemen to block them away from the play. His pass blocking is solid, but he's not as strong in that area as he is the run game. Leavitt can struggle some against speedy pass rushers because the lateral quickness isn't always there for him.”

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