Top Tackle Ready for Official Visits

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For one of the top offensive tackle prospects in the country, filling up the first week of the Contact period was not a difficult thing to do. In fact, Spring Valley (Columbia, SC) star Leon Hart has had five in-home visits already this week.

“Yes, sir, it has been busy this week,” Hart said with a laugh. “USC (South Carolina), Clemson, UVA, Auburn, and Maryland have been in our home this week. In a way, in-home visits are the same as the phone calls. All of the coaches come in and try to sell you on their program and tell you what they have to offer. For a lot of them, it’s the first time they get to meet your parents so it’s good in developing our relationship.”

The mammoth 6-5, 295 pound lineman has narrowed his list to five schools – Ohio State, Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina, and Virginia. He has scheduled official visits to all of these programs. Of the five involved, the only schools Hart has not seen yet are Ohio State and Virginia.

“On December 6th I go to Ohio State,” Hart said. “I go to Georgia on December 12th, Auburn on the 9th [of January], USC on the 16th, and UVA on the 23rd. When I started narrowing schools, the main thing was the academics. With my top five, I feel comfortable with the programs and the academics at each school.

“Right now, all of the schools are even. I definitely think I already know enough about the academics and the programs. The official visits will give me a chance to see the relationship between the coaches and players, and to see the atmosphere on campus. I haven’t had a chance to see Ohio State and UVA yet, but I’ve seen the other places already.”

Virginia, led by lead recruiter Andy Heck, has done an excellent job securing an official visit spot. The Cavaliers have solid depth and youth along the offensive line, however have indicated to Hart that he could compete and earn early playing time.

“I really liked what UVA has to offer academically and athletically,” Hart said. “Coach Heck told me that even though they have a young line, I’d have a chance to come in and compete early. Wherever I go, I’m going to go in and compete hard to play early. But like I told all of the schools, I would want to red-shirt if I was just going to be a backup that didn’t play much. I don’t want to waste a year.”

In terms of playing time, two schools appear to have the biggest need for