LEXINGTON, Ky. – Highly-regarded junior college offensive tackle, Tate Leavitt, has signed a national letter of intent with the University of Kentucky, head football coach Mark Stoops announced Wednesday, Dec. 16.
“Tate is a prototypical tackle, a complete player,” Stoops said. “Not only is he a great player, but he’s also a difference-maker off the field, with great presence, very confident.”
Leavitt, a native of Thornville, Ohio, comes to Kentucky after playing two seasons at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kan. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound helped the 2015 Blue Dragons lead the Jayhawk Conference and rank eighth nationally in rushing at 244.8 yards per game. Hutchinson running backs rushed for 32 touchdowns and the Blue Dragons were second in total offense at 486.1 yards per game.
Leavitt is listed as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, which rates him No. 8 on the top 100 junior college prospect rankings. He is the fifth-best junior college offensive tackle and seventh-best player in state of Ohio by 247sports.com.
“On the field he has the ability to throw that switch and be a tough physical player and a guy you want,” Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades said. “He’s light on his feet in the passing game and can also finish in the run game. We run a spread offense but we also ran the ball for 3,000 yards last year (2014). He’s used to being in a system where there is a priority on running the ball.”
In high school, Leavitt was a two-time All-MVL honoree for Sheridan High School who registered 149 pancake blocks in just two years. He helped his team a 9-2 season as a junior and a trip to the state playoffs. He was a two-time varsity letterwinner in both football and basketball.
Scout.com scouting report says he “has great size for the offensive tackle position. The strength and power is readily apparent as he drives downfield on his blocks very well. He’s very natural at sliding to the right to down block and does a great job at getting inside defensive lineman to block them away from the play.”
Leavitt chose Kentucky after offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Buffalo, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, Missouri, NC State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
He's expected to contend for the starting left tackle spot in 2016 and will have two seasons of eligibility with the Wildcats.
Video: Kentucky Wildcats TV