Robinson HS lineman Tristan Leigh (Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit757)
Clemson grabs the best prospect not signing early: Tristan Leigh
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Good things are worth the wait.
Robinson Secondary offensive lineman Tristan Leigh (2021 OL 6-5 270) passed on the opportunity to sign early and instead made Alabama, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma wait.
In a case like this, a school will hold a scholarship open. They don’t want to miss out on a highly-rated offensive tackle who could be the cornerstone of the O-line for years.
At any rate, Leigh decided long ago that he would commit at the All-American game, like many other prominent recruits before him. But this year, the game was cancelled. Instead, there was an All-American Bowl Declaration Day ceremony that was broadcast on NBC.
Thank you to the District Sports Center for making Tristan’s day so special, Christa Barlett for the beautiful artwork, Nate Brooks for the video, and Jordan Barlett for being awesome! pic.twitter.com/5PQDtFY94i
— Laura Rigney (Leigh) (@lauraerigney) January 4, 2021
Tristan led with thanking the good Lord as well as friends, family and coaches. Then he stated: “I’d like to announce that I’m going to continue my athletic and academic career at Clemson University,” before donning a Tiger baseball cap in front of a television audience.
Leigh elevated an already loaded Clemson recruiting class, becoming the program’s highest-rated commitment this year. The Tigers have 19 players signed, counting Leigh, and they hold the top-rated signing class in the ACC. According to 247 Sports, Tristan did sign in the early signing period, he just didn’t formally announce it until Saturday.
Later on Saturday, Clemson lost in the NCAA Championship Semifinal (the Sugar Bowl) by a 49-28 margin to Ohio State. It dashed the Tigers hopes of a repeat trip to the championship game and a fourth rendition of the Bama/Clemson College Football Playoff National Championship. Alabama won in 2016 while Clemson won in 2017 and 2019. Both teams had played in four of the previous five championship games.
Instead, Alabama will face Ohio State this weekend in Miami.
– Andy Hilton