Notre Dame already has commitments from two of the nation's best 2023 pass rushers in Keon Keeley and Brenan Vernon, but the Irish staff is still working on other top linemen from the class. One of the best is Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola big man Derrick LeBlanc, who has strong interest in Notre Dame.
“[Derrick] definitely has interest in Notre Dame,” Osceola head coach Eric Pinellas told Irish Breakdown. "I mean, it’s Notre Dame ... The national exposure is attractive to any kid.”
LeBlanc is ranked as the nation's No. 50 overall player according to the 247Sports composite list and he has a very impressive offer list that includes Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, USC, Florida State, Tennessee and Oregon among many others.
At 6-5 and 250 pounds LeBlanc has tremendous size and his film shows top notch athletic talent, but he's more than that.
“He’s fundamentally sound,” explained Pinellas. “I think that’s the thing that sets him apart from his peers.”
An edge player right now, the Osceola head coach sees his star pupil out-growing the edge and becoming a dominant interior pass rusher.
“I see him sliding inside,” Pinellas said. “Once he gets to college I could see him putting on 20 pounds or so, and keep the agility he has. He can really get after the quarterback. When it’s an obvious pass situation, he’s going to get to the quarterback.”
LeBlanc is clearly a talented football player, which is why so many top programs are making a push for him. According to his head coach, however, there's a lot more to his stud defensive lineman than just his potential for production.
“We preach academics here. With football, any play can be the last play, so the academic side is important,” Pinellas explained. “The athletic side is icing on the cake.”
“[LeBlanc] would absolutely fit at Notre Dame," he continued. "I don’t think the academics would be overwhelming for him. I know the football would be a plus for him. I think he would thrive in a program like Notre Dame.”
Leadership is another strength for the talented defensive lineman.
“He shows up every day and works his butt off," stated Pinellas. “He’s not a 'rah-rah' kind of guy. He’s more of a lead by example type of leader. He’s also the ultimate joker, he’s a really fun kid to be around.”
The Florida native has no problem leaving his home state, according to Pinellas, as long as it is the right fit for Leblanc. Notre Dame offers a unique package that appeals to LeBlanc.
LeBlanc is expected to head up to Notre Dame this week for the program's July 27th recruiting BBQ. He's one of many talented defenders that is expected to be on campus for that event.
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