"I've been trying to set up an official visit with Coach Latimore since Christmas but things keep getting in the way," said Bobby Leath. "I'm supposed to be taking the ACT soon. Once I have the information I can send it in and hopefully schedule the visit for the first week in February.
"I went to K-State last summer for a one-day camp. My running back coach was from Kansas and he was moving back to Osawatomie to coach high school football. He took me to campus and I really liked it. It was nice weather, not too hot. I enjoyed seeing the field, the stadium, and the facilities. The head coach, Bill Snyder, came up to me and told me he really appreciated me coming all the way from Florida. They've verbally offered me a full scholarship and have told me I'm the number two overall recruit on their board, but I need to get an 18 on the ACT to get the official offer."
Leath, a 6-foot-4, 283-pound offensive and defensive lineman at Lake Wales, has two in-state programs right behind Kansas State in the running.
"UCF is close to home," he said. I've been to a lot of their games. They have a lot of former Hollywood (Fla.) players on the roster. I like their facilities a lot too. They told me I'm the top recruit on their board.
"I'm also looking at the Florida Gators. My head coach is a huge Gator fan. His son, who was our quarterback at Lake Wales, plays baseball there. I went to a one-day summer camp there also where I meet Coach Muschamp and Coach Young and a lot of the recruits like Adam Lane and Kelvin Taylor. They've told me I'm top five on their recruiting board."
Leath said offers from UCF and Florida are also contingent on a qualifying score on the ACT. One thing Kansas State has working in their favor is Leath's closeness with his former coach in Osawatomie. He had been serving as Leath's guardian prior to taking the job out-of-state.
"I want to play with a team that feels like family," Leath explained. "That's what I liked about Kansas State. I could really feel a family bond there. Although, I don't know as many players as I would at UCF or Florida, I think I'd fit in well there with the players and the coaches."
As a senior, Leath was named first team All-County (Polk) at offensive line and second team All-State (Florida Class 5A) at defensive line. His team, the Highlanders, finished 8-5 and make it to the Class 5A regional final. In December, Leath played in the 58th annual FACA North-South All-Star game at Fireman's Field in Sebring. He was the only player in the game to play on both sides of the ball.
Florida State Seminole fans would remember Leath's older brother, Melvin Pearsall, who was an All-ACC tight end in 1997. Leath has the chance to make his own college legacy. He says he's "working hard on and off the field" to make that happen.