KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Nothing like the September heat to help identify which recruits deserved to be classified as elite. The two following prospects continued to grind in practice despite the tropical Central Florida sun and humidity.
Even during the late portion of practice, each of these young men went hard during a matchup with the starting Osceola offense. Many star recruits would just go half speed during this type of situation. To their credit, these two young men continued to grind.
The two players in question would be defensive end Derrick LeBlanc and defensive tackle John Walker. LeBlanc is 6’5”, 253 pounds and Walker would be 6’4”, 295 pounds. Each plays high school football close to the UCF campus.
Just about 30 to 40 minutes south of UCF would be Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola. It’s a program blessed with not one, but two, national defensive line recruits. Each prospect could pick just about any school he wanted.
That’s why there are no days off for college football coaches with recruiting. Each time a college football coach gains the opportunity to make an impression on a young man, it’s a necessity to do so. One never knows when that one particular comment or text message might influence a prime recruit to pledge to that particular school.
From that perspective, UCF continues to make these two local 2023 recruits priorities.
Walker has offers from many of the nation’s elite like Oregon, Alabama, Cincinnati, Ohio State, Florida and Georgia among others. LeBlanc’s offer list all but mirrors Walker’s offer list.
Both players were active during today’s practice, and they took a few minutes afterwards to converse about football and a little bit about recruiting, too. Nothing earth shattering, but one particular comment did deserve mention, however.
“Coach (Kenny) Martin keeps on me,” Walker said. “We talk on the phone. We talk about stuff other than football. He’s a laid back guy.”
The key to this piece of information stems from it not being asked. Walker volunteered that information. That’s generally a good sign. A recruit will not just bring up a school unless he’s going to truly look at that school.
The UCF Football program continued its pursuit of two of the top prospects just like it did this summer, as both players made multiple trips up to the UCF campus to watch high school football camps and to check out the facilities that the Knights offered.
For the Knights to continue to ascend in the world of college football, keeping some of the big-time local recruits at home will be needed. UCF proved that open communication helped with Walker, and that’s a great sign overall.
For UCF insights, college football news, and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast; it will be found on iTunes and Spotify. For Twitter, @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as my YouTube Channel and Instagram page. Like and Subscribe!