Leonard Talks about Summer

Adam Leonard is a 6-1, 223-pound linebacker from Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach, and this summer was supposed to be the one where Leonard announced his presence to the college world with authority. But instead of coming out of the summer with a big bang, it came and went with nary a whimper. What happened to Adam?

"The week of the Nike camp I went to a doctor," Leonard told TheInsiders.com. "I was feeling some pain in my knee. That Thursday I found out that I had a slight tear on the sheet over my patella. They told me to stay off of my feet for a month and it would heal. That's why I missed the Oregon camp and the Nike camp. I was planning on trying to make it to the U-Dub (Washington) camp.

"A little after that, about three weeks, I went to a specialist and I found out I had a hole in my kneecap. I had to have surgery. I got my knee scoped on the 16th of July and I've been doing physical therapy ever since, trying to get ready for the season."

So will Adam be able to salvage his summer no-shows by starting his senior season at one-hundred percent? "It's something that's going to be a reach," he said. "The first couple of games would be nice to play, but they aren't as important as when we have to play our league games. I'll rest my knee and play when I'm ready. I'm not trying to push it. I might miss the first couple of games, and maybe our trip to Alaska, but it all depends on how my knee feels. It feels great right now. I've been running in the pool a lot and doing a lot of excercises to help strengthen the muscles around my knee."

When asked to trace the origins of his injury, Adam couldn't put his finger on one exact point in time. "During the season, when you get hurt it's just something you play through," he said. "I had a couple of nicks and pains during the season, but I don't think that's when it happened. And during track, I might feel good in one race, but my knee might hurt in another race, so I really didn't think that much of it. It wasn't constant, so I looked past it. But once I started conditioning for football it got to me, so I sat down with the trainer and she told me what she thought it might be. Then I went the second day and it was really bothering me. I couldn't make my cuts or jump up and down without it hurting."

Adam may not have been able to do things on the football field this summer, but that didn't stop him from visiting schools like California and Tennessee. He talked a little bit about how the Golden Bears made a big first impression on him.

"I talked a little bit with one of their recruiting coaches," Leonard said. "I have family in the Berkeley area and I went there for a family reunion. I spent a day over there looking at the facilities and spent some time talking to some of their players, trying to get a grasp on what the strengths of their program are. I really enjoyed myself there. I could see myself at a school like that. My first impression was walking in the stadium. You could really get a feel for what it's like in that community. There are pictures of the players everywhere - in the gym and in downtown Oakland. They love their players and they do things for them. Just seeing the commitment and how all the players are really close - I could see myself in that kind of environment, where they are all working hard together. Not only on the field, but also in the classroom."

Did Leonard make sure that all the schools recruiting him knew what had happened to him? "I've talked to a couple of coaches about it, like Cal and U-Dub, but I don't have the luxury of having a lot of offers, so I know that this upcoming season I have a lot to prove," he said. He has a written offer from Duke and they've told Adam that he can play either offense or defense. "The Washington coaches want to see how I do coming back, and I'm supposed to go see Wazzu's (Washington State) first practice on the 9th with Shelton (Danzy)."

Because of the late start, Adam is going to take his time before trimming his list. "I'm going to wait until mid-season to narrow it down to my top-five," he said. "By then I'll have a better idea of who really wants me and what kind of role they want me to play in their program.

"I plan on going down to Corvallis to see Oregon State play USC. I plan on hopefully seeing some of Oregon's games if I can and of course U-Dub. I'll probably go to all of their home games."

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