Alabama added a big commitment on Tuesday night in four-star wide receiver Christian Leary out of Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater. It’s the third wide receiver pledge to hop on board to UA’s 2021 class, not to mention the third from the state of Florida, joining Agiye Hall and Jacorey Brooks. 247Sports ranks Leary the No. 18 wide receiver and the No. 122 overall player in the class.
Here, 247Sports national analysts Charles Power and Steve Wiltfong share their thoughts on the Tide’s big get.
“The first thing about Christian Leary is just his speed. He’s certainly one of the fastest players in the country and he’s really continued to get faster. He had a really good junior season helping his team to a state title appearance. He did a whole lot of stuff for that team — taking direct snaps, playing receiver, and playing against really good teams in a high classification in Florida. When you look at shorter receivers who end up being high draft picks, almost all of them have elite top-end speed, which he certainly does. But I also think he has some versatility with ability to break tackles and make plays after the catch. I could see Alabama using him not only as a deep threat, but a guy you can use in the screen game or even motion into the backfield at times. I saw him in person in January and he is already pretty physically developed. He’s got a pretty thick build and he’s spent a lot of time in the weight room over the course of the past year. I think it’s interesting how Alabama has really prioritized receivers in Florida. I think they’re certainly adding a pretty good variety among those three, with each of them having a different skillset with in terms of crafting a difficult-to-defend receiver group.”
“When talking about the top slot receiver prospect in the country, Christian Leary has to be one of the first names mentioned. The new Alabama commit is among the fastest and most explosive players in the country, a threat to score anytime he touches the football. An angle eraser, they get him the ball in a variety of ways at Edgewater High and let him do the rest. Wildcat quarterback, return game, quick screens, slants over the middle and he quickly finds daylight and pulls away from defenders. Twice in the state championship game against powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas he took wildcat snaps for long touchdown runs and had nearly 200 yards of offense in the tough 28-23 loss. He single-handedly almost took down a top five team in the country in that one. There’s also times on tape where we see Leary run beautiful routes, double moves to get himself wide open down the middle. Nick Saban and company recruited him to replace Jaylen Waddle and he has that kind of athletic ability. Does he have the ball skills? Time will tell there. On another note, an Iron Bowl recruiting win on the trail too. Leary said Auburn made things interesting down the stretch but in the end he picks the school that led for him the longest in the Crimson Tide. I think Leary will make some sort of impact in year one for the Crimson Tide who take another step closer to landing the best receiver class in the country here in the 2021 cycle, securing three of the Sunshine State’s best at this point in the process.”