Dynamite Baker’s Dozen No. 3: Baylor’s Max LeBlanc is an elite pass-catching tight end

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Memphis University School's Malcolm Shaw shoves Baylor tight end Max Leblanc out of bounds after a catch during a TSSAA Division II-AAA playoff game in November 2022.

Considering his family's pedigree, there was never much doubt about Max LeBlanc's athletic potential. The Baylor School senior's three older siblings all play collegiate sports — one brother is on the University of Kentucky tennis team, another is a decathlete at High Point University, and his sister is on the tennis team at the University of Portland.

Combine those genetics with an earnest work ethic, and the result is becoming one of the most sought-after high school recruits in the state for the class of 2024.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound tight end, a consensus four-star prospect who is rated the No. 265 overall player nationally by 247Sports.com, is the No. 3 overall player on this year's Times Free Press Dynamite Baker's Dozen list.

A transfer from Montreal, Canada, LeBlanc committed to Ohio State in April, citing the Buckeyes as being his dream program since childhood and choosing them over Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee.

"I knew after taking all my visits (to other schools) that Ohio State is the right place for me," LeBlanc said. "I've been a fan of the program growing up, and being there around the coaches and other players made me sure of my decision.

  photo  Staff photo by Matt Hamilton/ Max Leblanc at the Times Free Press studio on Sunday, July 30, 2023.

"I just really liked seeing the relationship the coaches have with the players, the energy at practice and the facilities. Ohio State has been known for player development, and I wanted to go somewhere that could make me the best I can be."

When LeBlanc arrived at Baylor prior to last season, he was coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL. He was cleared to play nearly a month prior to his expected return and wound up with 39 catches for 689 yards and three touchdowns to earn Division II-AAA all-state honors in helping the Red Raiders win the state championship.

"Max has elite hands — maybe even the best I've ever seen — and it only took watching a couple of routes (prior to last season) to know we had something really special," Red Raiders second-year head coach Erik Kimrey said. "He's also arguably the hardest working kid in our program. It's like watching a true professional already, and he handles himself in such a way that it's exciting for younger kids to see his approach and model themselves after him."

Contact Stephen Hargis at [email protected].