by Mark Clements
November 11, 2010 – At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Jonesboro-Hodge senior Joseph Leonard is well on his way to developing a college football physique.
Holding his own in the weightroom as well – benching 290, squatting, 330 and power cleaning 220 while running a 4.56 forty – the defensive end turned linebacker said his defensive hybrid style is modeled after two NFL greats.
“Ray Lewis from a linebacker standpoint, and Dwight Freeney as defensive end,” Leonard said. “[I like] the power, the speed and the love of the game that they have.”
Not only is Leonard flexible on the football field, but he can also take his talents to the court, where he plays center for his Tigers, helping lead them to the state finals last season.
While Leonard was moved to strongside linebacker this season from defensive end, he is likely being recruited as an end, and named a few colleges that are on his radar.
The list consisted of McNeese, Grambling, Louisiana Tech, and Leonard said he is “still pretty open between these three.”Leonard discussed what he liked about each of the schools on his list.
“Well Tech has a really close, on-hand type coaching staff. They’ll really work with you,” he said. “With Grambling, I grew up around there so I practically knew all those coaches because I had cousins that played for them and have been around there for pretty long.”
Leonard went on to say he has not yet visited McNeese, but likes the coaches and the team from what he has seen.
Despite his Tigers 2-8 record, Leonard said he can still get pumped up week after week. The biggest three games for the young talent were Winnfield, Lake Providence and Farmerville – all rival schools, according to Leonard.
|Joseph Leonard at Tight End|
“[Lake Providence] is another big rival,” said the long time Dallas Cowboys fan. “They had a quarterback that was averaging 320 on the ground rushing. It amped me up that we had to stop them and we did – we held him to 40 yards total rushing.”