Today’s Georgia Tech Football 2021 Early Signee profile highlights wide receiver Leo Blackburn who is coming to The Flats at wide receiver but may be destined to be a tight end.
Blackburn was a three-star recruit by 247Sports’s composite rankings and was a top-500 player nationally as well as a top-25 tight end and a top-40 player in the state of Georgia. A highly-rated recruit, Blackburn had 26 reported scholarship offers during his recruitment and was courted by some big-time programs late in the cycle before officially signing with the Yellow Jackets.
As a senior at Westlake High School, Blackburn recorded 51 receptions for 1,059-yards and 10 touchdowns.,
Highlights and What He Brings to The Flats:
The first thing you’ll notice about Blackburn obviously is his size which at 6-foot-5 is elite for a wide receiver and is also quite elite for a tight end. At 220-pounds, he’s still got room to pack on more weight and muscle which will only help him as he develops.
On the field, Blackburn presents quarterbacks with a big and strong target that can be used both across the middle or down the field. A look at his tape above (which is his junior tape – no senior tape available). He uses his size very well and to his advantage, being able to catch balls over defenders and muscle his way through contact.
Additionally, when the ball is in the air, he has good tracking skills and good hand-eye coordination which goes hand-in-hand with his good body control and catch radius. He shows a strong ability to adjust to passes in the air, make the tough catches, whether it’s in the back of an endzone, down the sideline, or in the middle of the field. He doesn’t have elite speed but he does have a long stride which does help make up for some of the lack of speed, obviously, it won’t allow him to run away from all defenders but he’ll be able to make some noise after the catch at the next level.
His Future on The Flats:
Personally, Blackburn is someone that I’m very high on in this class and someone I truly believe could end up the best player from this class when it’s all said and done. Obviously, he has a lot of work to do to get there but the potential is there.
Ultimately, I believe that Blackburn is going to end up as a tight end in the future for the Yellow Jackets as he continues to grow into his 6-foot-5 frame, already at 220-pounds, if he packs on an extra 20-pounds, he’s got the chances to become a very good tight end.
I believe Blackburn could actually play a Kyle Pitts role early on in his career and is actually similar to him overall as a player. Pitts at Florida early in his career played more of a wide receiver role than a tight end role. While Blackburn has great height for a tight end, he will need to add more weight to his frame. If the Jackets want to play him early, he’d more likely be as a receiving tight end and might even line up more out wide than on the line. But for now, Blackburn is listed as a wide receiver on the Jackets offer.
Long term, I believe Blackburn could turn into a huge weapon for the Yellow Jackets though it ultimately depends on how the Jackets use him in the offense. I think if they want to get the most of him, moving him to tight end would be in both his and their best interest. If they do, his success will largely come down to how they use the tight end. Early this past season, they really appeared to ignore them as the season went on. If the Jackets can use Blackburn well, he has a chance in my opinion to be an All-ACC tight end.