The 6-foot-4, 200 pound athlete was on campus last week, taking in Tennessee’s final scrimmage of the spring session.
And of course, the offense was on display.
“It was pretty cool. I like the scheme because it gives you the ability to work on the outside or from the slot,” Leacock said of Heupel’s system. “One of their concepts is how you can choose your route at 10-12 yards, based off of the defense. You can pick between a hook, post of fade route and I really like that concept because you can really show off your talents and abilities.”
The trademark of Tennessee’s offense is the pace. For the first time, the Millbrook standout was able to see how it operates, up-close and in person.
“The tempo was one of the main things the coaches have been talking about and I was able to see how fast they run plays,” the 2023 prospect told Volquest. “As soon as the play is dead, they run it back in or throw the ball to the ref. The next play goes from there.”
Prior to coming on campus for the first time, Tennessee had been in contact with the rising prospect. Joined by his parents and brother, the family was able to tour the facilities on Wednesday before taking part in Thursday’s practice session.
“I feel like we’ve been building a good relationship,” Leacock said of the Volunteer coaching staff. “I feel like we had a good relationship before I went over there. The coaches would call me often. I’m really interested in Tennessee because it’s in the SEC and they are an up-and-coming team playing on the biggest stage. Tennessee was always one of my highest-interested schools I was looking at.”
While in town, the versatile wideout was able to spend a lot of time with new position coach, Kelsey Pope.
“Coach Pope is a young guy, so he can kind of relate to me. He actually played a year in the NFL, so he has some good experience playing wise,” the three-star said. “I believe his plan has been working. He literally showed me how their plan turned a receiver who had about five receptions for 100 yards to a guy with 40 receptions for 1,000 yards. I think him being there is really good for Tennessee.”
The receiver mentioned, of course, was the play of Cedric Tillman this past season. Pope, who is in an off-the-field role last season, played a major part in that development and sees a lot of skilled traits in the Tar Heel State native as well.
“One thing they like about me is my speed and ability to track the ball,” Leacock said of the Vols. “They pulled up my film and then showed me how I would fit in the offense. I think they like how I’m versatile because I’m a tall dude who is fast. Most of the time, those guys can only catch fades or jump balls on the outside. I think I can do a lot more than that. That’s why they like me a lot.”
The offer count sits at 18 as of now with several Power 5 and SEC teams jumping in the mix here lately. Tennessee originally offered Leacock back in November and like everything he can bring to the table – which includes retuning kicks.
“There’s not a lot of things on the field you could ask me to do that I can’t,” the prospect said. “I feel like my recruitment is just now starting to take off.”
Leacock has checked in with NC State and North Carolina already this spring and plans to visit Florida soon. The wideout could also potentially take a trip to Kentucky and Louisville in the near future.
This past fall, the Tennessee target hauled in accumulated over 1,000 all-purpose yards with 15 touchdowns on 42 receptions. Leacock was named All-State and All-Conference, both on the field and in the classroom.
Tennessee did well here last week but will need to continue to work to get him back on campus. It’ll have plenty of time, however, as Leacock doesn’t plan to make a decision until sometime in the fall.
“We were all very impressed with Tennessee,” the prospect concluded.
Staying at wide receiver, Tennessee is trending for Raleigh wideout Nathan Leacock who is coming back for Memorial Day weekend. He hears from Nico Iamaleava a lot which is pretty common with most anyone on the board. Nico, as a ‘peer recruiter’, works it hard.