One of the nation’s top defensive end prospects in the 2023 class was in Death Valley this past Saturday as a spectator for Clemson’s spring game.
Osceola High School (Kissimmee, Fla.) four-star D-end Derrick LeBlanc traveled to Tigertown to attend the contest with his trainer and fellow class of 2023 Sunshine State standout Payton Kirkland, a four-star offensive tackle from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando.
“It was a good time,” LeBlanc said to The Clemson Insider. “I liked the way they played D-line. It’s similar to how we play it.
“It’s not even full capacity, and you could feel the energy and all that, and the people make you feel welcome. I just liked the way it was.”
It was the first visit to Clemson for LeBlanc, who is ranked as a top-100 national prospect in the 2023 class.
LeBlanc (6-5, 245) felt right at home amongst the fans in Death Valley.
“They made me feel welcome,” he said. “It was just like a family atmosphere.”
LeBlanc is good friends with his fellow Central Florida native on Clemson’s defensive line, Tyler Davis, and enjoyed watching the defensive tackle from Apopka, Fla., play in the spring game.
“I have a close bond with Tyler Davis,” LeBlanc said. “We all train with the same guy. It’s just cool seeing him ball and playing football.
“I’ve known Tyler since my freshman year. He grew up with me and we’ve all just been talking. He’s trying to push me to Clemson. He’s a cool guy to be around.”
Looking ahead, if the NCAA dead period ends this summer and the ban on in-person recruiting is lifted, LeBlanc plans to make several visits including a return trip to Clemson.
“I’m going to be at Ohio State whenever we’re allowed to,” he said. “I’m going to be at Ohio State, Bama, Georgia, and I’m going to come back to Clemson.”
LeBlanc, who lists more than 40 total offers as a sophomore, is in no hurry to make his college decision.
“I’m taking it day by day right now,” he said. “I’m not rushing it.”
LeBlanc is ranked as the No. 6 strong-side defensive end and No. 54 overall prospect in the 2023 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He is committed to play in the 2023 Under Armour All-America Game.
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