Three weeks ago, 2022 offensive tackle Leyton Nelson was waiting for his first Division I offer, unsure when it could come and didn’t know the direction his recruitment was headed.
Fast forward eighteen days and any uncertainty has been replaced by excitement and some surprise as he’s become one of the fastest rising recruits on the east coast.
Nelson (Boone High School in Orlando, Florida) received his first Division I offer on January 23 from hometown Central Florida, followed with one the next day from Tim Salem and Pitt. Since that first Power Five offer from the Panthers, Nelson has also received offers from Oregon, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Miami (Fla.), Tennessee, UConn, Marshall, Boston College and the latest one coming this morning from Florida State.
UPDATE (4:10 PM)– Nelson received an offer this afternoon from Louisville.
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Nelson following the news Wednesday morning to get his thoughts on how his life has changed over the last few weeks.
“I am so surprised at what’s going on,” said Nelson. “To see all these big schools, that I never really thought of, wanting me to play for them. I’m just trying to stay humble and just keep working hard and trying to still improve. I really don’t want all of this on my mind and allow it to get to my head. I’m taking the approach of wanting to continue to move forward and to get better.
“My parents are obviously very happy for me and humbled that all of this is happening. My parents have been and will continue to be a big help and a factor for me in trying to guide me with advice. We will have to sit-down and look over and talk about these options.”
Nelson’s phone has been blowing up with calls, texts and twitter messages from coaches around the country. When receiving these offers, has there been a common theme or compliment that he’s heard from these programs as to their interest in him?
“My speed and the way I move for an offensive tackle,” said Nelson. “Whenever I sent them my one year transformation pictures, they’ve seen how determined I’ve been to transform and improve. I’ve added a good 40 pounds (6-foot-6, 275 pounds) in a year and I think it’s made me so much better of a player.”
As far as Pitt goes, various members of the staff have remained in contact with him since offering him on Jan, 24 and things have gotten more difficult for them to land this talented junior lineman.
“They always send me stuff and have done well keeping in touch with me,” said Nelson. “They’ve also sent me a bunch of mail with handwritten messages from the coaching staff. They call me at least once a week, if not more to check up on me. I’ve heard from the offensive line coach, Coach Salem and Coach Narduzzi has been texting me. It’s pretty nice to be developing this relationship with them.”