If we’ve learned one thing in 2020, it’s that Miami Hurricanes fans will stop at nothing when it comes to recruiting players on social media to come to UM. If you need an example, just look at Jake Garcia and his decision, as Miami fans flooded Twitter for nearly 6 months by starting the #GarciaToTheU campaign. Whether or not it had an impact on Garcia’s decision, Canes fans will always believe that it did, and so will I.
Now, what do you know, Miami fans are at it again, as they’ve now turned their attention to 2021 5-star offensive lineman Tristan Leigh out of Robinson Secondary (Fairfax, VA).
Leigh is set to announce his decision on January 2nd, during the All-American Bowl Declaration Day.
5 OT Tristan Leigh will Announce his Commitment January 2nd, live on NBC‼️— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) December 23, 2020
The 6’5 270 OT from Fairfax, VA has Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State, LSU, and Clemson vying for his Commitment.
Which Fanbase Can Show the Most Love? pic.twitter.com/BbthvxD86m
Late last week, Canes Twitter exploded once again, starting a #LeighToTheU movement on the app, which drew attention very quickly. By Friday night, the hashtag was the number-one trending topic on Twitter in Miami.
However, just like with Garcia, several of the 2021 Miami commits have also joined in on the hashtag, trying to bring Leigh to Coral Gables. Kahlil Brantley, Brashard Smith, Elijah Arroyo and Garcia himself, have tweeted it out, and it’s pretty clear they want Leigh to wear orange and green along with them.
Few days later, Leigh posted an edit of him in a Canes jersey, which of course just excited Hurricanes fans even more.
As of right now, it would be a long shot for Miami to land Leigh, but with recruiting, you never know. Many believe that Oklahoma is the favorite to sign the talented offensive lineman, with Ohio State, Clemson, Florida and LSU are also very much in the mix.
247 Sports has Leigh ranked as the #4 offensive tackle in the 2021 cycle, #1 player in Virginia, and #11 player overall nationally, standing 6-5 and weighing 270 pounds. Miami offered Leigh in January of this year, with OL coach Garin Justice being listed as the primary recruiter.
Playing left tackle, Leigh is a punishing blocker up front with great physicality, especially when it comes to the run game. With a tall and lengthy frame, Leigh is your prototypical LT, with the agility and athleticism that suits him well against defensive lineman as well as linebackers.
HIStory: After the Whistle w.5️⃣⭐️— Chad Ricardo (@RealChadRicardo) July 7, 2020
TRISTAN LEIGH (@Leigh71Tristan )
Leigh speaks on his RAW TENACITY & how he went from Not playing until 7th grade to arguably the top Prep OL in the Nation #ROADSHOW @Roadshowsports
FULL Interview: https://t.co/rqSCopQXU0
Leigh can also hold his own in pass-blocking situations, though he’s played in mostly a run-heavy offense throughout high school. As a junior, Leigh did not allow a sack all season.
All the tools and mechanics are great, but what I like most about Leigh’s game is his mean streak, straight nastiness, which you don't see too often from top recruits at tackle. He brings a blue collar approach to a game that’s modernizing with every possession. Leigh is a play-to-the-whistle type of player, looking to demolish defenders.
Tristan Leigh OT c/o 2021 Robinson Rams Jr. Season ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️— Coach Richter (@_Coach_Richter_) January 30, 2020
Video Credit: @DoubleS30 Shaun Salehi pic.twitter.com/yMlaL5Ls5x
Being a Dallas Cowboys fan, when I was watching film on Leigh, he reminded of Erik Williams, the All-Pro right tackle who was part of 3 Super Bowl teams in the 1990’s. Williams was a mean, nasty player on the football field in the trenches, and Leigh is very much like that. That’s the kind of offensive lineman I want.
In Rhett Lashlee’s offense at Miami, which uses a variety of passing concepts, it’s no secret they also like to run the football as well. So given that, I think Leigh’s style would mesh well with Lashlee’s offense. While his strength is definitely in run blocking, Leigh has a very high ceiling, and his pass protection skills will develop and improve over time.
Miami has two 5-stars that signed with UM last week in James Williams and Leonard Taylor already, as well as 3 offensive lineman, Laurence Seymore, Michael McLaughlin and Ryan Rodriguez.
If the Canes were to shock everyone and add Leigh as the final piece to this 2021 class, it would be without a doubt one of the most impressive recruiting hauls that they’ve put together in years.
One thing is for sure, you’ll probably be seeing plenty of #LeighToTheU on social media over the next few weeks.