The 6-foot-6, 310-pound Ohio native played last season at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. He helped the Blue Dragons lead the Jayhawk Conference and rank eighth nationally in rushing at 244.8 yards per game. Hutchinson was second in total offense at 486.1 yards per game.
“Tate is a prototypical tackle, a complete player,” UK head coach Stoops said in a statement released by the program. “Not only is he a great player, but he’s also a difference-maker off the field, with great presence, very confident.”
Leavitt is ranked the No. 59 juco prospect in the country for 2016 by Scout. He chose the Cats over offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Buffalo, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, Missouri, NC State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
Scout's analysis says he “has great size for the offensive tackle position. 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 and does a great job at getting inside defensive lineman to block them away from the play.”
“On the field he has the ability to throw that switch and be a tough physical player and a guy you want,” Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades said. “He’s light on his feet in the passing game and can also finish in the run game. We run a spread offense but we also ran the ball for 3,000 yards last year (2014). He’s used to being in a system where there is a priority on running the ball.”
In high school, Leavitt was a two-time All-MVL honoree for Sheridan High School who registered 149 pancake blocks in just two years. He helped his team a 9-2 season as a junior and a trip to the state playoffs. He was a two-time varsity letterwinner in both football and basketball.
Leavitt will join the Cats for spring practice and has two years of eligibility remaining.
Offensive line was a key area of focus for the UK staff in the Class of 2016. The Cats currently have four other commitments in addition to Leavitt, including Bluegrass State stars Drake Jackson and Landon Young, and Luke Fortner and Justin Rigg of Ohio.