Dan Mullen has added another top talent to his 2020 recruiting class.
This time, the prize is consensus high three star OT Richie Leonard (Cocoa, FL/Cocoa). The former Kentucky commitment chose the Florida over FSU and Tennessee, with the in-state Gators and Noles widely considered to be the two finalists for his services.
You can watch his highlights here.
And I encourage you to watch those highlights multiple times before you place any stock in his three star status. Leonard has been offered by eighteen different Power Five schools, and won Offensive Line MVP honors at the Opening camp in Orlando this past February. And his tape suggests that he could be ready to play right away. He’s strong, quick and smart, with an uncanny ability to predict where the defender will go before he goes there.
The only potential blockade in his path to playing time is the numbers. Florida is undergoing a facelift up front this offseason, but Mullen just reeled in an incredible seven offensive lineman in this most recent class and Leonard is now the third verbal OL pledge in the class of 2020 along with Gerald Mincey and Jovens Janvier.
To be completely blunt, though I understand it’s impossible for the recruiting gurus to nail their analysis of every player with thousands of high school kids trying to get recruited every year across the nation, this is a bad, bad miss by the various recruiting services. There are three stars that you’re not quite sure about for one reason or another who then turn out to be stars, and then there’s a carelessly underrated player who has the profile of a solid four star recruit- the offer list, MVP honors at a recruiting camp and that highlight tape- who promises to provide far more output than the recruiting rankings predict he is likely to produce.