Skip to main content

Leyton Nelson Commits to Knights, UCF in Strong Recruiting Position

UCF football added Leyton Nelson to the recruiting fold on Thursday, Aug. 5. Nelson changes UCF’s recruiting outlook. He possesses the ability to play offensive tackle, and he's also a player that can play the blind side, meaning left tackle, a premium position. Along with fellow offensive tackle commitment Miguel Maldonado, this is an excellent one-two punch of offensive tackle recruits for the Knights.

Along the offensive line, Coach Gus Malzahn, as well as Offensive Line Coach Herb Hand and the rest of the offensive coaching staff need to figure out if they want another high school player or take a junior college or college transfer. UCF only signed five high school offensive lineman from the combination of the last two recruiting classes, so UCF needs to maximize with each scholarship handed out along the trenches. A transfer would also add more numbers to the offensive line upperclassmen ranks.

Leyton Nelson

Leyton Nelson

Vitals: 6’6”, 285-pounds

Position: Offensive Tackle

High School: Orlando (Fla.) Boone

Class: 2022

Recruiting Notes: Nelson could have gone across the country and played for a school like Oregon, or stayed close to home and selected any of the Florida programs. In the end, it was likely a two-team battle between the Knights and Gators, with UCF winning out.

One of the biggest factors for UCF landing Nelson’s commitment stemmed from his relationship with the Knights coaching staff. He admitted this past Saturday, July 31, that he really enjoyed communicating with the UCF coaching staff and how genuine they were. That must have resonated with Nelson, because he’s now committed to the Knights.

Here’s a podcast the goes into more detail about Nelson’s commitment to UCF, as well as what it means for the remaining spots within the UCF recruiting class:

Three OL Commitments to Date

Will UCF land another offensive line commitment? Will the Knights push for at least one more high school player? UCF recently made overtures to junior college prospects, so there are several options. There’s something else to consider beforehand, however.

UCF signed just five offensive linemen from the classes of 2020 and 2021. That’s low. A two-class minimum of seven would be about right. That leaves the Knights two bodies short. Any further additions to the UCF offensive line need to be truly talented, and there needs to be balance, i.e. adding at least one transfer -- whether junior college or otherwise -- should be strongly considered.

Adding an upperclassman to the offensive depth chart makes sense considering the past recruiting numbers along the offensive line. It’s not out of the question for the Knights to dip into the junior college ranks, nor should it surprise anyone if a player from the transfer portal arrives at UCF next season. Afterall, the Knights are bringing in 12 transfers for 2021.

The UCF Recruiting Class as a Whole

UCF continues to build from the surrounding areas, which is good, and it also still holds a strong position to add talent that’s evaluated this fall. Seeing seniors play may change the recruiting board, and it’s also an opportunity for UCF to better understand its own roster. Players transfer, become injured, and the Knights must adjust accordingly.

Overall, there should be roughly 15 high school players that sign with the Knights. That number has not changed, at least as it relates to the opinion of Inside The Knights. The overall recruiting numbers need to be monitored closely.

It’s too early to know the recruiting numbers for the class of 2022 just yet, but there’s an important change that’s coming. The Knights and the rest of the Division I college football programs must be back down to 85 scholarships next summer. With that in mind, there will likely be several more transfers that come to UCF after the conclusion of the 2021 football season. From this point forward, transfers should always be looked at closely when anyone evaluates the Knights’ recruiting efforts. The UCF staff is obviously interested after signing 12 players this off-season.

You will find me on Twitter @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation

For UCF insights, college football news, and recruiting information go to my YouTube Channel and Podcast

Recent Articles

Nelson Pledges to Knights, Brings UCF Football’s In-State Commitment Total to Six

Read More

Questions and Discussion about the UCF Offense, Position by Position

Talking Gators Versus Knights, Plus Recruiting News, with All Gators Publisher Zach Goodall

Jake Hescock Brings Production, Experience and Leadership to UCF Football

Transfer WR Core Helps Shape UCF Depth Chart, Brings New Dynamics to RPO Game

Thompson No Longer with UCF, Knights RB Position Still Provides Plenty of Talent

Videos and Photos from UCF Football Media Day

Key Points from Gus Malzahn’s First UCF Fall Camp Press Conference

Gaining Respect: Dillon Gabriel Compared to Top Quarterback Heisman Trophy Candidates

Talking UCF Football with Jennifer Jackson, the Team Mom

Discussing the 2022 UCF Football Commitments

UCF Football Offensive Line Recruiting: UCF Needs Balance with 2022 Class

Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC is Good for UCF, Plus Recruiting News

Photo and Video Reels from the Varsity Sports Network Orlando Media Day

Leading by Example: National Recruit Gabe Dindy from Lakeland High School

Film Review of UCF Defensive Tackle Prospect Jordan Hall

Combining Talent and Dedication: Kayin Lee from Cedar Grove High School

UCF and Maryland Sign Two-Game Deal, Helps the Knights Join the Power Five?

UCF and Florida Schedule Series, Now What’s Next for UCF?

Photos and Videos from Scouting Carrollwood Day School

Clay Wedin: Interview with Talented Florida 2023 Offensive Line Prospect