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Inside the Lab: Florida State recruit Christian Leary

You’re up, Christian!

Christian Leary (Twitter)

In the midst of chaos and global uncertainty, it’s good to be back with you, Seminole fam. First off, my hope is that no one is directly or indirectly impacted by what is going on. Secondly, if anyone is impacted, my prayers are definitely with you and your family.

With that said, let’s dive into another edition of Inside the Lab. The goal of the Inside the Lab series is to cue you in on the prospects that are on their way to becoming an household name. This requires us at TN to be up on the up & comers, the late-bloomers, the emerging prospects, heck, whatever name you want to call it. And this fact and focus alone makes us different.

In the previous edition, we brought you Jaydon Hood, the defensive man-child out of St. Aquinas High. And in case you missed it:

This week we go Inside the Lab with one of my offensive weapons for the 2021 class: ATH Christian Leary.

DISCLAIMER: Leary recently included a top-6 which didn’t include FSU, but funny things happen in recruiting, so who knows:

Christian Leary

5’9, 180 lbs, c/o 2021

Edgewater High, Orlando, FL

Major offers: FSU, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Auburn, Oklahoma, Florida, Penn State, Texas A&M

Watch for yourself:

Now let me explain myself. I usually try to bring you individuals before a lot of the bigger schools offer them, and this kinda did not happen that way this time. Make no mistake, I have been following this kid for over the last 8 months, but recently his offer list exploded. My job is to help you understand why these other major schools see what I’ve been seeing for some time.

In the Inside the Lab editions, I always assign a score, based on my film evaluation. I do this in part for two main reasons: 1) it’s really fun and 2) I love to go back and compare my score to the other ranking systems to examine the variance in values. Since I’m not evaluating hundreds to thousands of kids at a time, I can operate with less restriction to time and future data point replications. As a result, in many cases present-day accuracy is better and noticeable. In regards to Leary, I’m anxious to see how this plays out.

Now for the fun part. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Christian Leary.


The film doesn’t even do his speed justice. The kid is crazy fast. From about the 40 yard line, I swear it looks like Karlos Williams running beside Kermit in the ‘13 Championship game. Just crazy straight line speed. Let’s take a look at some jet action.

Leary goes in motion and takes the handoff. The LB actually makes a good read on the play, but is a little too aggressive in his angle. Leary is able to find a crease and cut the play back, which uses the LB’s over-aggression against him. After that, speed wins again. But how is he at hitting a hole? Let’s find out:

Well that answers that. This play is not going to be acknowledged by many because, well, he didn’t score. But a huge part of being a complete back is being able to keep the chains moving. On this play, Leary starts with slight Le’Veon-esque hesitation to set up his blocks and then explodes through the hole. 2nd level gets shoestrings before the 3rd level can bring him down. Even upon impact, Leary keeps his feet moving to gain another yard or two. Here’s another way that he can be utilized:

First of all, this pass initially looked like a 45 yard TD completion to me: it’s actually about 60 yards. It’s because Leary covers so much ground so quickly. Next, the first defender is in position to make it only a 5 yard gain, but it was one quick cut that changed everything. Finally, the other safety tries to help, but to no avail. It wasn’t that the secondary defender took a bad angle; it’s simply that he got burned.

As of right now, his composite score is listed at a respectable 90.09. This basically classifies him as a low 4 star prospect, which I suspect may be a little too low for him. As a result, I decided to rank him based on his Jr. film. Take a look:

Measureables Versatility Mental Traits
Size Speed 3 down back? Can player play different positions? Instinctive
Raw Score 86 98 84 87 85
Conversion Factor 0.07 0.08 0.04 0.03 0.07
Calculated Score 6.02 7.84 3.36 2.61 5.95
Personal Attributes
Interior Runner Outside the Tackle Vision Burst/Explodes Through the Holes Pass Catching Havoc Score (with ball in hands)
Raw Score 92 91 87 97 87 90
Conversion Factor 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.05
Calculated Score 6.44 6.37 6.09 5.82 5.22 4.5
Physical Traits
Power Elusiveness Balance Fights For Extra Yards
Raw Score 87 87 86 84
Conversion Factor 0.05 0.05 0.03 0.04
Calculated Score 4.35 4.35 2.58 3.36
Coachable Traits Character
Pass Protection Pad Level Ball Security Intangibles
Raw Score 78 80 82 90
Conversion Factor 0.04 0.02 0.03 0.07
Calculated Score 3.12 1.6 2.46 63
Overall Score
Overall Calculated Score 88.34
OB Coefficient 1.05
Total Score 92.76

As you can see, I am slightly more confident in my score of Leary, listing him at 92.76. Leary is fun to watch with the ball in the open field. He kinda reminds me of a blend of D’Andre Swift, Karlos Williams, and Ja’Khi Douglas. I’d definitely say at this point, that the strength of his game is in his straight-line speed. However, what I love about him is that his potential is through the roof. I have seen a few analysts mention WR as his landing spot. I firmly disagree. I believe that his skill-set and potential will be truly maximized in the offensive backfield.

There are areas that Leary can improve in, yet Leary fits Norvell’s offensive game plan perfectly, with his ability to stretch the field horizontally and vertically. FSU was actually one of his first major offers (under the previous regime) and still continues to be highly interested in the dynamic playmaker. As I mentioned, I believe that Leary’s future is at running back, similar to the role that Douglas will play. With that said, his future is incredible here. Some areas I’d love to see Leary improve on is in his patience as a runner, running behind his pads, and securing the ball, all which can be tweaked with Coach YAC. I fully believe that Leary can climb even higher with another season of growth and end up in the 95-96 range.

*Disclaimer: The above ranking projections are exclusive to officially.back and do not reflect the general opinion of TomahawkNation or SBNation.