Pack a Serious Player for Elite OL

Wilmington (NC) Hoggard offensive lineman T.J. Leifheit has emerged as one of the state's most sought after offensive linemen. Pack Pride has the latest.

If you play high school football and you happen to be 6-7 and 320-pounds, it's a virtual certainty that college coaches will want to give you a look at some point during your junior or senior seasons. You have to have some serious ability, however, to put together the kind of offer list that T.J. Leifheit has.

There's a lot of talent in the state of North Carolina in the class of 2010 and one of the best is undoubtedly Leifheit, the long, potentially dominating left tackle from Wilmington (N.C.) Hoggard.

Leifheit has held offers from all of the schools on Tobacco Road for quite some time, and more recently he has garnered attention on the national level.

Schools like Florida State, LSU, Tennessee, Boston College and South Carolina have offered Leifheit recently, making him one of the hottest commodities on the recruiting circuit these days.

What has he been up to lately?

"My most recent trip was to (North) Carolina for the Duke (basketball) game. It was awesome. The game was crazy. Everybody was going wild the whole time. Every point, every rebound ... it was just nuts."

Leifheit has had several opportunities to visit Chapel Hill and has enjoyed each trip. He has also been in constant contact with the NC State coaches, and things are going very well between Leifheit and the Pack as well.

"I just talked to coach (Don) Horton (last Wednesday)," he said. "One of the best things about them is they're going to put guys in the pros. He was telling me, I think, that over the past eight years he's had 11 or 12 linemen in the pros.

"He was showing me some film while I was up there, and I think one year all five of his starters ended up being drafted at some point. That's really the main selling point for them."

With all those offers and so many new schools coming all seemingly every week, how does Leifheit plan on starting his actual decision-making process?

"Towards the end of the summer I'm going to start narrowing it down," he said. "Then I'm going to take my five official visits and commit by sometime in October. I have to because I'm graduating in December and I'm going to enroll in January."

Leifheit and his teammates from Hoggard are lifting four days per week to stay in shape. He has set a couple of personal goals for himself over the next few months and into his senior season.

"I'm going to try and get my bench up to about 400 pounds," he explained. "That's my biggest goal in the weight room. My goal for next football season is to make all-American."

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