Iowa State will likely take just one tight end in the 2017 class, and the Cyclones appear to have identified a top target in Jenks (Okla.) prospect Reese Leitao.
The Cyclones offered the 6-foot-4, 234-pound athletic tight end in early February and the highly regarded prospect has been a priority since. Leitao, who is the top-ranked tight end in Oklahoma in 2017 and the 27th-best in the country, most recently had Iowa State tight ends coach Alex Golesh stop by Wednesday.
“Really since February I’ve talked to Coach Golesh on a weekly basis [and] me and Coach [Matt] Campbell have also been on the phone and every now and again we keep in touch,” Leitao said. “They started off building a really good relationship and I realized that. I wasn’t able to get there in April, which is mainly when I’m taking all of my spring visits, but I’ll definitely be there come June sometime.”
In addition to Iowa State, Leitao holds offers from the likes of Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Duke, Illinois and Houston among others. To date, he’s been on trips in recent months to Oklahoma State, Houston, Missouri, Duke, Arkansas and Alabama.
Leitao had 14 receptions for 215 yards and four touchdowns last season as a junior for Jenks, which captured its fourth consecutive Class 6A state title. His recruitment has exploded since, including strong interest from the Cyclones.
“Really they see a lot of similarities in the offense I run at my high school and the offense they’re trying to run currently,” Leitao said. “I think Coach Golesh and Coach Campbell really like my versatility at the in-line and kind of moving around the offense in a two-point stance as a receiver off the line of scrimmage.
“They’ve told me a couple times I’m the top [priority] in the class.”
That continued to show Wednesday when Golesh stopped at Jenks High School to watch Leitao work out during the spring evaluation period.
“Our relationship is really good. I really like him, he’s a nice guy and he’s told me in the past that the tight end group, they have a really nice bond already,” Leitao said of Golesh. “When he’s coaching them he’s not only there to coach them on the field, but he helps them out a little bit off the field and that’s really important.”
Leitao, who is former high school teammates with Iowa State sophomore receiver Carson Epps, plans to cut his list to a Top-5 or Top-10 following the spring evaluation period before taking some final unofficial visits in the summer.
He expects to likely make a decision before his senior season.
“I’m still kind of thinking about early summer if I’m going to get to any camps and if I’m going to get to any more schools,” Leitao said. “Definitely Iowa State, I really want to get up there, and Texas A&M probably also. Those two really as of now are where I’m planning on going for summer and then anything else that opens up.”
In the meantime, Leitao is sorting through his recruitment with a key factor in mind.
“I’m looking for a school that will better me both on and off the field,” Leitao said. “A lot of people lose that off-the-field [aspect] and it’s all about getting better and trying to win championships, but I think it’s important to also focus on off-the-field issues like the support and academics. Really just the best school that fits me both on the field and off the field.”
The Scouting Report
"What sticks out about me is probably my blocking. I know a lot of tight ends maybe are a little bit better route runners now because of how a lot of offenses are changing around the country, but I think as far as blocking goes, not as many people can do the things I can do blocking on the field."