NC State offered Tate Leavitt because the coaching staff believes the junior college offensive tackle has some things that you can’t teach.
If you can teach it then it doesn’t much matter who the player is. It can be taught, learned and put into practice. Normally that applies to hand placement, foot movement and technique. It’s the more natural ability that cannot be taught. Coaches can help a player get bigger but only to a certain level. Athleticism is something that seems to peak in some people at a lower level than in others.
Leavitt formerly called Thornville, OH home. Now he is one of the nation’s most respected and known junior college football players. Hutchinson CC has been home to a lot of players like that over the years.
Kansas State always likes to keep their top junior college players in the state so it is not a surprise at all that they have offered. Alabama only offers a select few junior college players a year and their offer was a sign that Leavitt had hit the big time. Arizona State, Illinois and the Red Raiders of Texas Tech have offered and want Leavitt too.
Leavitt (6-7, 295) got his last offer from North Carolina State. According to Leavitt he has been talking to offensive line coach Mike Uremovich for more than just a little while.
“I guess you could say that they didn’t really tip their hand on offering me but I did expect them to offer at some point. I’ve talked to Coach Uremovich for quite a few months. I would say over winter break or not long after winter break is when me and him started messaging. We’ve been doing that for a while now. He likes my physicality. He says you can’t teach my athleticism and my size so I guess you could say he likes my athleticism at the tackle spot.”
The Alabama offer is one Leavitt cannot ignore but it is not the same dynamic as it normally is with a high school recruit. Junior college transfers only have a limited amount of time after that transfer so for Leavitt playing time is going to be very important. That could be the kind of X-Factor that gives NC State and others the lift they need to best the Crimson Tide.
“Playing time is important. To be honest that’s number one for me. NC State has said they need to fill that gap. They were saying they had a good recruiting class of offensive linemen this past year that they signed. They’ll be graduating quite a few guys so they wanted a JUCO guy to fill that gap until their younger guys get older.”
They think Leavitt could be the guy. They have his ears so far with Leavitt saying he will visit.
“I know their facilities are great. I talked with my coaching staff here and my head coach had some great things to say about Coach Doeren and Coach Uremovich. He said they’re guys that worked hard to get where they are today so I really respect that. I’m still in the learning process of what NC State’s all about but I’d like to continue to learn about that.
“I’m looking to visit them unofficially. My sister and brother in law live there. He’s in the Army and he’s based down in North Carolina right now. I’m looking to visit down there at one point in May and hopefully I’ll visit NC State as well.”
Leavitt might downplay the Alabama offer in one sense. He does not want to give anyone the impression that the offer from Alabama diminished any of the others. What he said about playing time carries weight and is something any other junior college player would understand.
There is no denying that Alabama is a leading contender however. Those are not Leavitt’s words but he does plan to see the school.
“Right now I’m in the process of setting one official visit up. The only official that I know I’m making right now is Alabama. I don’t have a set date yet but we’re in the process of setting that up. Alabama’s resume speaks for itself. But my thing is I want to see what they have to offer. I know I’ve seen pictures of what their facilities are like and everybody’s going to have nice facilities. It’s really about creating a relationship with the players and coaches and being comfortable at the school. With me getting off to a good start with the coaching staff there I feel like they will be a factor.”