Leyton Nelson is now in the fold for the Knights. The offensive tackle is a local product living in Orlando, and he’s a huge addition to the 2022 UCF Football recruiting class. Nelson is a part of an emphasis for the Knights to heavily recruit the state of Florida.
As the UCF Football program continues to build its 2022 recruiting class and build its overall brand, there has been a strong emphasis to land local players. Aug. 5 certainly helped both categories with the commitment of a talented offensive tackle living less than a half hour from the UCF campus. Here are key items to know about UCF’s latest commitment, as well as how it goes along with UCF’s in-state recruiting push.
Vitals: 6’6”, 285-pounds
School: Orlando (Fla.) Boone
Recruitment: Nelson took five official visits. Pittsburgh (June 4), Miami (June 11), Utah (June 14), Louisville (June 19), and UCF (June 25). He also took multiple unofficial visits to Florida, and the Gators were a major player in Nelson’s recruitment before he decided to join the UCF Football family earlier today.
**Nelson could have signed with programs from across the country. Outside of his official visits and his interest in the Gators, Nelson held offers from Florida State, Auburn, Arizona State, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Indiana, Maryland, USF, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Boston College, Southern California, and Tennessee among others.
**Nelson held an offer from each of the five primary Division I Florida programs. UCF also battled national programs for Nelson to come and play in the Bounce House, but just beating out the in-state programs was an accomplishment by itself. Recruiting in Florida is quite competitive.
**”We are going to recruit like our hair is on fire.”
**That aforementioned statement was Coach Malzahn back in February when he took the position as the UCF Head Football Coach, describing how UCF would attack in-state recruiting. The way the UCF coaching staff recruited to date, that statement certainly holds true. Earlier today, Leyton Nelson became commitment No. 9 to pledge to UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn. From the nine commitments, six hail from Florida. Going into more detail, five of the nine UCF Football commitments live in the greater Central Florida region.
**The UCF Football program now has three total offensive line commitments. It’s a unique group because all three of the committed offensive linemen played left tackle during the 2020 season, and that’s arguably the most difficult position to master along the offensive line.
**Nelson could play offensive tackle for the Knights, but he also mentioned playing center as a possibility while being interviewed by Inside The Knights this past Saturday, July 31. Nelson’s versatility will allow him more opportunities to play early for UCF.
**UCF signed a grand total of five high school offensive linemen from the classes of 2020 and 2021. Look for the Knights to add at least one more high school offensive lineman to this class, assuming it’s the right fit, to help build a more balanced depth chart.
**Nelson is originally from Texas, but has lived in Florida for quite some time.
**During Nelson’s sophomore year, he was only about 6’5” and roughly 240-pounds. He looked much more like a tight end during that stage of his high school football career.
**Playing for Boone High School, Nelson also plays in an offensive blocking scheme that’s similar to what UCF implemented after Coach Malzahn arrived. It’s a zone scheme, and many of the techniques that Nelson already learned will be familiar once he officially becomes a Knight.