The Alabama staff has been smoking hot on the recruiting trail recently, and the momentum continued last night with the addition of 4-star WR Christian Leary out of Orlando.
Listed at 5’9” and 180 lbs., Leary will remind many of Jaylen Waddle. Indeed, he and Nick Saban imagine him in a similar role. From BamaOnline:
“He don’t tell me what I want to hear,” Leary told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong recently. “He keeps it real and that’s what I love about Coach Saban. I’ve talked to him on FaceTime twice. He’s a fun guy to talk to. Real fun guy to talk to. He tells me about the culture and how they do stuff and I can see myself playing there. He told me I resemble Jaylen Waddle’s playing style and I’m definitely keeping that in mind as he’s about to leave.”
Like most shorter skill players, Leary has outstanding balance and change of direction, but he also has that rare vision that you see in the truly elite playmakers. Some of his biggest plays in high school have come as a Wildcat QB. On the track, Leary posted a 10.50 time in the 100m in the spring. For some context, former Tide burner Henry Ruggs III set an Alabama state record at 10.58 back in 2017.
Yeah, Leary is that fast.
At this point Leary ranks as the #23 overall WR in his class, but a big senior year could push him up the charts dramatically, similar to the climb that Waddle made back in 2018. Even as elite offenses like Alabama in 2019 continue to prove that separation is far more important than height for receivers, and players like Tyreek Hill, Julian Edelman, and Antonio Brown put up massive numbers in the NFL, the smaller types tend to be undervalued by recruiting services.
Still, at this point Saban and company have added three of the top 25 WRs in the 2021 class according to the 247 composite, all three from Florida. May that pipeline never run dry. Jeff Banks and Holmon Wiggins were responsible for securing the services of Leary, and a class that started slow is now ranked #23 in the country with only 8 commitments. Stay Tuned.
Roll Tide, Christian.