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2021 NFL Draft Prospect: Leighton McCarthy, DE/LB, Florida Atlantic University

Leighton McCarthy FAU Owls
Florida Atlantic pass rusher Leighton McCarthy has been ballin in 2020, I am super proud of the Apopka native.

When you live in Central Florida, you better know about football in Apopka, Florida. Some of the best players ever came out of Apopka, guys like Warren Sapp and Brandon Meriweather are just a couple studs. Well, Leighton McCarthy played at Wekiva High but was born and raised in Apopka.

The defensive end was asked to switch positions to outside backer this year, and boy has he flourished. The 6’3, 220 pound pass rusher has been one of the best FAU defenders in 2020. McCarthy has 7 sacks in 2020, and has been all over the field for the Owls.

Let’s just say the transition has been extremely helpful for McCarthy. McCarthy has a knack for disrupting the play in the backfield. This year he has 9 tackles for loss already and 24 tackles in just 5 games.

McCarthy had 11 career sacks entering the year, and 22.5 tackles for loss. He is having a great season. His ability to set the edge has been super helpful for the FAU defense. McCarthy is a sleeper that not many are talking about. Well, I am from Leesburg, and he is getting my love. Keep it up #13.

NFL Draft Diamonds Scouting Notes

As you read above, I am from 20 minutes down the road from Apopka, Florida. I have some good friends in Wekiva, and I am cheering for Leighton McCarthy. Not many people are going to be talking about the FAU product but he is playing big time football in his senior year. HIs 18 career sacks is impressive, but 30 plus tackles for loss is no joke either. He may have to add some weight, but he can set an edge with the best of them. – Damond Talbot, NFL Draft Diamonds, Owner

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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