One of the hottest prospects on the recruiting trail of late has been Hoggard (Wilmington, NC) offensive lineman T.J. Leifheit. He’s landed a dozen offers thus far with new interest arriving almost daily. At 6-7, 320 pounds it’s easy to see why he has emerged as one of the state’s top players when watching him in action. Leifheit is tremendous at, not only engaging his man, but getting off his initial block to get down field. The rising senior moves extremely well for a player his size and physically, presents a ton of upside. All of that potential has helped establish Leifheit as a must-have for a number of schools. Pack Pride talked with him recently and got the latest on his recruiting.
“I’ve got 12 offers right now from all over the country,” he said. “I’ve got California, Texas Tech, Florida State, all the South Carolina schools, all the North Carolina schools, Tennessee and Maryland. It’s nice to see all my hard work starting to pay off.”
After attending a couple of games at NC State last fall and the Pack’s first junior day held in January, Leifheit was back in Raleigh this past weekend. He spent Saturday watching State take on Virginia in basketball and then returned for the Wolfpack’s second junior day on Sunday.
Leifheit said he enjoyed his time in Raleigh and was especially pleased to spend some time with offensive line coach Don Horton.
“I really like it at State,” he said. “Me and coach Horton sat for about an hour and watched some offensive line film. We talked about how they’d use me in their blocking schemes and what position he’d like me to play. He said he wanted me to play left tackle which is the position I prefer.
“I really like NC State though because coach Horton has got a good reputation for developing good offensive linemen and putting them in the pros. I think one of his years at Boston College he had all five of his starters get drafted. You know ultimately, I’d really like to play in the NFL and having a coach that really understands what’s going on, that’s real big for me.”
For now, Leifheit doesn’t claim any favorites and is focused on spending the next few months visiting several of the out of state schools that are on his list. Whether he stays in North Carolina for college or moves away, Leifheit said the most important thing is to simply find the situation that suits him best.
“I’m just trying to find the best fit for me. If it’s staying in-state then that’s fine. If not, that’s okay too because my parents are going to support me no matter what I do. They’re going to be at all the games. I’ve just got to find the best fit for me.
“Right now it’s still open. I don’t have any favorites right now but I’d like to narrow it down in the near future.”
Leifheit plans to enroll in college in January so he does admit that he’s on a shorter timetable than most recruits. However, he’s come up with a plan that will lead him to a decision next fall.
“I’m going to commit in October because I’m graduating in December so I can go to spring practice where ever I’m going. But I’m going to commit in October so I can take all of my official visits and make sure I make the right decision.”
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